After years of uncertain times off the field, Sheffield Eagles chief Mark Aston says the recent stability behind the scenes has provided the bedrock for the surge of optimism ahead of the campaign.
Whilst money remains tight, and their stadium still incomplete, the Eagles have secured several new commercial agreements which has boosted the club coffers over the close season.
Aston’s strategically planned recruitment has also fuelled morale, with 14 new signings which include some eye-catching names at Championship level.
Aston acknowledges that there is still somewhere to go, but the hard work appears to be paying off as the Eagles continue to strive for continuity ahead of their stadium’s planned completion in 2020.
“We have done a fantastic job on the commercial side,” Aston stated to The Star.
“Mark Hannigan (commercial director) has brought in some great partners and I believe our kit sponsorship this year is the biggest it has ever been. That is massive for us. People asking where Sheffield are getting their money from, well we have had some major sponsors come on board. It is still tough, we still need to be careful but we are certainly in a better place than we have been.
“The stadium is still in the process of being created, so we still have work to do to get people back but we are on the right track.”
Aston has had to steer the Eagles ship through some choppy waters of late, with the club sailing close to the brink of demise on a number of occasions over the past three years.
The Eagles have been forced to sound an SOS in each of their last two campaigns, but an air of stability is now upon the club which has allowed Aston to recruit early to bring in some of his top targets.
Aston knows the importance of a strong start, as he looks to entice some of the forgotten fan base back to the OLP.
“You can't always be up there with the best, some years you will have a bit of turbulence, but we'll get back there,” he added.
“We need everyone in Sheffield to get behind us, there are some exciting times ahead. We are now getting a squad together that will take us into the new stadium, and beyond. That's important to us, there are plenty of positives happening and we'll keep our heads down, keep working hard and keep trying to generate money.”