Sheffield Eagles: Louis Sheriff’s attitude delights Mark Aston

New Sheffield Eagles signing Louis Sheriff during his time with Doncaster
New Sheffield Eagles signing Louis Sheriff during his time with Doncaster

It was Louis Sheriff’s attitude which persuaded director of rugby Mark Aston to give him an opportunity with Sheffield Eagles.

Sheriff joined the Eagles alongside Sonny Esslemont from League One strugglers Hemel Stags, as Aston looks to bolster his ranks for an improved effort in 2019.

The Eagles chief is keen to be running a larger squad this season, after often struggling to cover injuries during what was a tough campaign last time out.

Whilst Aston’s side achieved their survival goal, the long-serving coach was less than pleased with the culture in his dressing room.

He’s since been on the look-out for hungry individuals keen to represent his club, and he says the words coming from Sheriff when they sat down to discuss the move was music to his ears.

“What he said to me when I met him really impressed me,” Aston explained.

“Again, he just wants an opportunity. He just said 'someone just give me a chance, an opportunity, and I'll show you'. I thought, why wouldn't I? That's what we are about, giving people opportunities.”

Sheriff and Esslemont both started their careers in Super League with Hull KR, but they have slipped down the divisions until they came to the attention of Aston.

With the Eagles having a dual-registration deal with Hemel last season, ex-Eagle and current Stags coach Jack Howieson recommended the duo to Aston who swooped to land both on one-year contracts.

Sheriff, 26, has also enjoyed spells with Dewsbury, Gateshead and Doncaster, whilst Esslemont had a spell with Keighley before their arrivals at Hemel in 2018.

Aston says that pre-season will be huge for the duo, stating that their second chance at a crack at The Championship will depend on their performances in pre-season in what is expected to be a much more competitive 14-team division next term.

Aston continued: “Louis has been about. He's played half-a-dozen games in Super League and looked like he was going to be a big thing, and then made a couple of decisions that took it out of him. I'm delighted with them both, they have points to prove, but now is the time for them to step up.

“Our pre-season will all be about the competitive edge and the competitiveness of the individual. Everyone will get a chance, and as long as they show up well then all well and good.”