SHEFFIELD EAGLES: ‘Model pro’ Szostak bidding for instant Eagles return

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BACK-ROW forward Alex Szostak is in the frame for an instant recall to Sheffield Eagles team for the crucial game at Halifax.

Szostak was a shock omission from the team that beat Batley Bulldogs 42-12 in the opening knockout round.

Coach Mark Aston admits there’s a strong case for bringing back Szostak.

“Alex was very unfortunate the other day – he hadn’t done a lot wrong. I picked a team to beat Batley,” he said. “It was a hard decision because Alex has been getting back to what we expect. He will certainly come into consideration for Halifax.

“There won’t be to many changes but one or two (players) are under the microscope.”

Aston paid tribute to Szostak’s response with the player taking on the role of running messages to the team during last Sunday’s game.

“Alex is a model professional and his attitude helped not only me and the players by his positive vibes during the Batley game. No doubt it was hurting him deeply inside but credit to Alex he was still part of the team and influential on the field talking to the players and being positive.”

Halifax have injury worries for the game at the Shay on Sunday, which is live on satellite TV with a 1.30pm kick-off. Prop forward Tonks is out after breaking his arm in the 28-24 win over Keighley Cougars in the opening round.

Aston revealed that his decision to make changes for the Batley game followed two disappointing training sessions.

“The coaches were frank and there were some harsh words last week because training wasn’t up to standard,” he said. “Then in the last session on the Friday they trained well and the attitude against Batley was outstanding – that was important.”