Sheffield Eagles youngster Blake Broadbent could be set for another opportunity before the end of the campaign after making significant progress on dual-registration with League One Hemel Stags.
Coach Mark Aston has kept a keen eye on the academy prospect, who has again been included in the Eagles’ 19-man squad over recent weeks, after impressing with his performances for the Stags.
With the Eagles all but secure after their recent victory over Swinton, Aston has the opportunity to take a closer look at some of his future stars, with reports from Hemel coach and former Eagle Jack Howieson suggesting that Broadbent could be ready for the muck and bullets of Championship rugby league.
“Blake will get more games in the next five rounds or so than he might have expected,” Aston told The Star.
“He is a champion of a man. He trains the house down. He has got an attitude and commitment to deliver what we want from him.
“Jack Howieson has said to me that if he gets a full pre-season behind him then he will be ready for the Championship.
“He has certainly hit the spot as far as the coaching staff are concerned. Whether he starts a game remains to be seen, but he is certainly in our thoughts at the moment.”
Broadbent, son of Eagles legend Paul, returned to the club following a successful trial during the close season.
Despite being signed as a star for the future, he had an earlier than expected stint in the first-team following an early season injury crisis, bagging his first try in the defeat to Leigh back in April.
After steadily improving during his time with Hemel, Aston says there’s more development to follow as he plots the best route forward for the youngster.
“I think Hemel might have had some little concerns about whether he would be good enough initially, but he has turned the corner there to get them thinking that he can more than handle League One now,” he added.
“They now believe he has a big future in The Championship. That's what I always thought. He is still relatively very young for a big fella. He will take time to develop into the finished product, but so did his dad. So do front-rowers, they take time to mature. He has got that attitude, the commitment and the desire that you look for in a guy.”