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Championship Season Preview: Sheffield Eagles

A hugely poor performance from the Eagles in 2018 and Mark Aston has promised significant improvement.

Aston has put his plan into action too, as 14 new arrivals and 12 departures have occurred at Sheffield.

The finished tenth last season with the help of a dual-registration link with St Helens which is no longer available to use.

The vast majority of the exits were that of the clubs choosing but they will certainly miss Matty Fozard who has been snapped up by London Broncos. It will also be strange to see a Sheffiled team taking the field without Menzie Yere, who was hugely popular and now retired.

Jason Crookes, Pat Walker, and James Davey have all returned to the Eagles along with several Championship level players, such as Anthony Thackeray and Aaron Brown.

Aston has also brought in a number of ‘project’ players, while Josh Guzdek and Brad Knowles have shown flashes of their ability at the level and will want to kick on.

The fans, as well as the coach will hope that this improved squad will kick on this year but after a good rebuild they may not be expected to finish much higher than tenth again this year.

Developments around their Olympic Legacy Park home means that Sheffield can eventually return to being a major player in the Championship.

A promotion push this season is definitely tall order but Aston will be hoping that they can fight for that fifth place spot.

Squad:

Ben Blackmore, Blake Broadbent, Aaron Brown, Greg Burns, Paddy Burns, Jason Crookes, James Davey, Oliver Davies, Rory Dixon, Aonny Esslemont, Joel Farrell, James Glover, Josh Guzdek, Matt James, Brad Knowles, Corey Makelim, Ryan Millar, Shaun Pick, Louis Sheriff, Lewis Taylor, Anthony Thackeray, Pat Walker.

INS:

James Davey (Batley Bulldogs), Jason Crookes (Batley Bulldogs), Sonny Esslemont (Hemel Stags), Louis Sheriff (Hemel Stags), Joel Farrell (Batley Bulldogs), Aaron Brown (Dewsbury Rams), Josh Guzdek (Dewsbury Rams), James Glover (Dewsbury Rams), Pat Walker (Batley Bulldogs), Ben Pointer (Newcastle Thunder), Rory Dixon (York City Knights), Lewis Taylor (Hemel Stags), Brad Knowles (Featherstone Rovers), Anthony Thackeray (Featherstone Rovers).

OUTS:

Iliess Macani (London Skolars), Nabil Djalout (AS Carcassonne), Matty Fozard (London Broncos), Max Garcia (Albi Tigers), Jon Magrin (Bradford Bulls), Mike Weldon (Rochdale Hornets), Simon Brown (Dewsbury Rams), Oscar Thomas (Swinton Lions), Mark Offerdahl (Goondiwindi Bears – as coach), Joshua Toole (released), Menzie Yere (retired).

PREDICTED LEAGUE FINISH – 10th

 

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