Sheffield Eagles director Mark Aston has admitted his frustration at having to play catch-up in his close season recruitment.
Aston has been forced to watch his Championship rivals strengthen, whilst Eagles trail behind as they wait for their off the field funding to be rubber stamped.
Eagles are still to formally announce their new ‘sponsor’ who has agreed to fund the club, whilst official announcements on their remaining playing staff also remain in the pipeline. Aston has previously said that announcements are close, with the same being said on a venue for next season as he battles to keep the club in the Steel City.
But whilst the club are not expecting more departures, Aston has admitted that while the question mark hung over the club’s future, his competitors stole a march in attracting players. “By this time you usually want to be saying that the squad is complete,” Aston admitted.
“But I can’t say that at this moment in time. We are working away behind the scenes to get us closer to that. We have missed out on a number of players that I know we could have got. The frustration is there because I never want to take a backward step, but like I said the most important thing is to get the club on a firm footing and then we can start doing what we do best which is attracting young players who want to improve.
“We have worked hard to make sure we keep the players that are contracted here for next year, that means getting them from full-time to part-time. We are hopeful of having some news on that shortly.”
Eagles are reeling following the losses of several key figures, most notably vice-captain Quentin Laulu-Togagae who completed a long expected move to Toronto Wolfpack. Other notable losses include Adam Neal and George Tyson who have returned to Oldham, whilst Aston’s son Cory has joined Leeds Rhinos for an undisclosed fee.