It may not have been the most conventional start to life at Sheffield Eagles but USA international Corey Makelim is certainly starting to make up for lost time.
After signing for the Eagles in March, the versatile operator was left kicking his heels after a frustrating four-week wait as red tape delayed his arrival.
With little time to get up to speed, the 24-year-old was thrown in for his debut in the heavy home defeat to Leigh Centurions, whilst his initial run in the side was cut short after missing the home game with London through illness.
Despite the disruption, Makelim has shown up well in a difficult season so far for Mark Aston’s side, and his recent performances, which has seen a switch into the halves, have garnered much praise from his coach.
“Corey has been great ever since he arrived,” director of rugby Aston informed The Star. “He has gone about his business and we’ve been pleased with him. When he arrived he wasn’t sharp, he wasn’t fit and the reason for that was that we couldn’t get him here in time. He has now started to find his feet.”
Makelim lined up alongside Cory Aston for the first time as the Eagles arguably put together their best performance of the season in the defeat of Barrow.
It was Makelim’s kick which bounced off the crossbar into the gleeful grasp of Aston for one his three tries, with the duo giving the coaching staff a selection dilemma with the experienced Simon Brown close to a return to action following a knee injury.
With Hull KR loanee Thibault Franck still with the Eagles, and Oscar Thomas also fit-again, there are choices to be had in a position that has caused coach Aston several problems this season.
Makelim, who started his career with the Eagles at full-back, is the man in possession, and it is his attitude and leadership skills that are impressing his coach as he looks to build with relegation rivals Swinton Lions in town a week tomorrow.
“What he has is a bit of something about him,” Aston added.
“He has some substance. He has a bit of an attitude and he will kick people’s backsides if they aren’t good enough. He will say what he thinks and we haven’t had enough of that. That’s what half-backs do, that’s what leaders do.”