‘We’ve missed Walker’s composed style’ says Eagles boss after confirming Pat return

Eagles chief Mark Aston
Eagles chief Mark Aston

The composed style of the returning Pat Walker is something that Sheffield Eagles have been badly missing in recent seasons, according to director of rugby Mark Aston.

Walker secured his return to the Steel City on a one-year deal, taking the ex-Batley contingent to four following the arrivals of James Davey, Jason Crookes and Joel Farrell.

With Dewsbury trio of full-back Josh Guzdek, loose forward Aaron Brown and centre James Glover all signing two-year deals on Friday, Aston’s recruitment drive has accelerated with more names to follow.

Walker’s return matches Aston’s long-standing rhetoric of restoring an Eagles dressing room of old, with the 32-year-old an instrumental figure in Grand Final success back in 2013.

The stand-off, who can also operate at loose forward, will bring some composure to the ranks according to Aston, something that was missing during their ill-fated 2018 campaign.

“He is Mr Cool, he is laid back - people think that he is slow but he isn't slow between the ears,” Aston told The Star.

“We are delighted that we have someone who is quite relaxed, and very experience and composed. That is something that this year we have lacked at certain times in certain places.”

Walker, alongside Davey who has also returned for 2019, was one of a clutch of stars who departed the Eagles when the club switched to a full-time operation for the start of the 2016 season.

Whilst the full-time move quickly hit the buffers, Walker was one three players who helped galvanise a resurgence for Batley in recent years along with Davey and Dominic Brambani.

Like many of his flock at the time, Aston didn’t want to lose the versatile operator and has now welcomed the experienced Championship performer back into his ranks.

“He had a good job and good career so we couldn't blame him for moving at the time,” Aston added.

“He knows what he is doing, he can kick a ball, he can pass a ball and he has a good work ethic and all that. He is very strong. I remember John Kear speaking to me about the impact he had when he went to Batley along with James Davey and Dom Brambani. They were a massive reason why they became so successful. He has the right attitude, he is a smashing young man that gives respect, and he will get respect back in abundance.”