Rugby League: Aston challenges Eagles young players

Eddie Battye, right, is being used as an example by Eagles coach Mark Aston
Eddie Battye, right, is being used as an example by Eagles coach Mark Aston
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Sheffield Eagles boss Mark Aston has thrown down a challenge to the club’s young players.

He’s warned them the pressure will be on in the new season to make an impact on the first team.

“The lads are there to be promoted,” he said.

“We know we have kids who are ready and 2014 is the year for them to stand up. I have to give them the chance to perform.”

Youngsters Connor Scott, Leigh Sanders and Aston’s teenage son Cory all played in the first team last season but the coach wants more.

Aston points to Eddie Battye as a standard bearer after the 22-year-old prop forward forced his way into the team 2013.

“Look how Eddie came in after a spell playing in France,” he said.

“Connor Scott has to stand up this season.

“He’ll get his chance and will probably get a squad number.

“Connor has played a few games but he needs to be playing six to 10 next season. Cory Aston played three and he needs to be in there more.”

“There’s others like Leigh Sanders, when he comes back from injury, who will be pushing the first team squad.”

Aston also backed ‘forgotten man’ Corey Hanson to revive a career that stalled after the centre played 17 games and helped Eagles to their first Grand Final in 2011.

“Corey Hanson is training the house down – he’s had a year or so in the doldrums but he’s back and looking good.”

Aston is ready to give the young ones their chance as the Eagles challenge for a third successive Championship title.

With up to four first team regulars set to miss the start of the new season at Owlerton in February there will be spots to fill.

He added: “I want to see these guys stand up next season and we are going to put the pressure on them.”