Sheffield Eagles Director of Rugby Mark Aston is leaving no stone unturned as he looks to forge ahead with plans for a full-time roster for next season.
Eagles have just four games remaining as a part-time club before they make the jump to full-time in November. Aston is close to formally announcing which players will be remaining with the club, whilst he is also looking to recruit as he bids to transform Eagles staff for a sustained assault on returning to Super League.
Whilst he cannot formally announce players before September 1, Aston is in talks with agents ahead of the club’s most important ever recruitment drive.
“We cannot speak to players at this stage, but there has been communication with agents” Aston said. “Some of those conversations have been positive and after September 1 we are confident that we can announce a group of players.”
Aston is scouring the world for players, with an emphasis on youth to go with an experienced batch of performers that are expected to be retained. “I have plenty of experience here so I am certainly going to be looking at younger players coming out of Super League that have been in good environments and that makes the transition easier” he said.
“I am also looking for players that haven’t played at this level; there are some cracking players in divisions below. There are some great kids who want to go full-time; there are some great kids coming out of Super League, and in Championship One. We have to get that blend right.”
Eagles have had a high success rate with players arriving from abroad, and Aston will be casting his net far and wide as he looks for the right combinations to take the Eagles onto the next level.
“We are scanning the world,” Aston added.
“We are in Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, we are looking all over the world. We have been fortunate over the years that we have done really well with people like Quentin Laulu-Togagae, Misi Taulapapa, Menzie Yere and Steve Thorpe and people like that. We are certainly scanning.”