It has been a largely frustrating first season at Sheffield Eagles for Oscar Thomas, but the upcoming Championship Shield fixtures could offer the opening he has craved for.
The half-back has had to play second fiddle to regular pairing Cory Aston and Corey Makelim for the majority of his debut campaign, but was given a rare chance in the Eagles’ last outing against Leigh Centurions, starting at full-back in the absence of St Helens ace Matty Costello.
Whilst the Eagles will be confident of being boosted by dual-registration, Thomas will be aware that one injury could open the door, after the former Bradford ace appears to have jumped ahead of out-of-favour Simon Brown in the queue.
“I have at times had to go back to the drawing board to work on my game. There are things still to work on for the whole team, and that’s me included,” Thomas said. “I’d like to try and string some performances together to get consistency in my game and confidence. The more I play the better I’ll be but I’ve got to earn a place. “
Director Mark Aston has previously praised Thomas for his professionalism in training, and knows with players expected to feel the strain of a long season, he will need the full use of what is a slender roster.
The 24-year-old was struck by injury at the same time as Aston and Brown, ruling him of an opportunity to stake a regular place.
With 14 appearances to his name this season, the Scotland international will feel he could have featured more, but with no guarantees over what will arrive from St Helens, Thomas will be raring to go in whatever position necessary.
“There have been tough times this season, we are not blessed with the biggest of squads,” he continued.
“When someone is injured sometimes you have to patch up that position with someone who isn’t natural in that place. Coming into the back end we are starting to form some partnerships and I think we’ll do fine.”
With no game this weekend, the Eagles will start the middle eights with another away journey to Leigh.