Sheffield Eagles: Mark Aston feels at home on the road

Mark Aston
Mark Aston
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The Keepmoat Stadium will give Sheffield Eagles the opportunity to entertain this season, according to director of rugby Mark Aston.

The Eagles will host London Broncos this Sunday in the first home fixture of the 2015 Kingstone Press Championship season, after being forced to move from their Sheffield base at Owlerton Stadium.

Despite moving from within the boundaries of Sheffield, Aston firmly believes that the facilities at Doncaster will be conducive to an entertaining and exciting brand of rugby league which he is looking to deploy this season.

“Owlerton Stadium just wasn’t for us and the authorities decreed that we couldn’t play there as it didn’t make the minimum requirements,” Aston told The Star.

“The pitch wasn’t as wide as we would have liked and that had an impact on the style we wanted to play. We are in the entertainment business and that’s what we want to do, but Owlerton didn’t lend itself to that.

“We know for a fact that playing at Doncaster will give us the opportunity to try and play some exciting rugby league. We like the facilities, we like the firm and wide pitch they provide, and it will allow us to do what we want to do.”

Life on the road is nothing new to Eagles stalwart Aston.

“I have been here 30 years now and I remember back in the late 80s we started the season at Owlerton,” Aston added.

“We had to move and spent a year on the road. We played at Chesterfield, Barnsley, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Doncaster - you name it, we played there. “The year after, we got Don Valley Stadium, which was our home, but that came to an end and we moved back to Owlerton. A year later we are back on the road again.”

Plans are accelerating for a new stadium within the Steel City but for now The Keepmoat will be home with the Eagles sharing with Doncaster.