Plans to address Sheffield Eagles’ defensive frailties start now for director Mark Aston, as the club work out a playing budget for next season.
With their own bid to develop the Olympic Legacy Park seems to have hit the buffers, they are maintaining dialogue with all parties to ensure a return to the city for 2018.
Being back in Sheffield will have a bearing on Aston’s budget, with the prospects of bigger crowds and increased sponsorship, but with nothing concrete as yet, Aston must avoid last season’s frantic late recruitment drive.
At the top of his agenda is addressing his side’s leaky defence, with the Eagles chief already assessing loan players from St Helens with a view to agreements for next season.
“There will be a significant transition again for next season” he said. “We can’t wait forever to find out where we are going to be, so I am having to start signing players. But we’ll have a significantly better budget if we can get back in Sheffield.
“I am not happy that we have probably the worst defensive record in the competition. Whatever happens, and wherever we are, that will need addressing.”
Aston has repeatedly mooted that major changes are required if he is to take his side to the next level by finishing in the top four. He has already taken Calvin Wellington, (pic) Jonah Cunningham and Liam Cooper on loan from Saints for the Championship Shield games, in a bid to have an early look at prospects for next season.
More talks are set with St Helens regarding players for next season, as planning continues despite the club’s stadium uncertainty.
“I am not kidding myself, there will be a number of new players coming into the club,” he added.
“Then we need to have a look, and sit down with St Helens to talk about who we will be looking at for dual-reg next season. We will be hitting the ground running on that front, so there are already players we are talking to.
“We are going to look at that side of things closely, and we are going to make ourselves better.”