With Mark Aston lamenting his side’s recent lack of competitive edge, the new dual-registration deal with Hemel Stags could be just the tonic required for those currently on the fringe at Eagles.
After weeks of negotiation behind the scenes, an agreement was reached with the League One side which will give those on the outside of Aston’s matchday 17 the opportunity to sharpen their skills with ex-Eagle Jack Howieson.
With the Eagles no longer able to field a reserve side, the dual-registration agreement has been seen as perfect way to develop the likes of up and coming stars such as Blake Broadbent, whilst more senior players such as Kieran Moran have also taken the opportunity for some much needed game time.
“It is great for the players in particular because it gives them some game time,” Aston said of the partnership.
“Some of them now will be playing week in, week out which is what is needed for their development. Now they need to have the mind-set that more or less every week they will be playing. It is a win for everyone because they have some big games coming up with Oldham on the horizon so it will be a good level, a good intensity so when the lads go there they will come back to us fighting fit. We need them ready to play and this will help with that.”
It has been tough going for first-team coach and ex-Eagles skipper Howieson, who has had to come out of retirement to help boplster the Hemel ranks, with the Stags still winless in the league this season.
But with Moran and Broadbent named in their side for the recent defeat at Workington, the former Scotland international can expect to be further bolstered should the Eagles come through their most recent injury crisis.
He said: “Hopefully we can help him enough that he can hang his boots up again! For us this is the ground work players will have to do to get back into the Sheffield Eagles team.
“If people don’t play in that competition then they won’t be ready for us.”