Matt Garside tends to get the ‘bridesmaid’ role at Sheffield Eagles but it’s bringing him lots of invitations to big events.
Eleven of his 16 games this season have been as a substitute. At Batley in the last game when he warmed the bench for 51 minutes before the call came. “I’d love a start and play more minutes” he said. “At Batley I had to wait my time get on the field and I try to do as much as I can in the time I’m given.”
He’s likely to be doing the same when the Eagles travel to Doncaster Dons in the semi-final of the Northern Rail Cup on Friday.
That’s followed by a Challenge Cup quarter-final meeting with Super League strugglers London Broncos early next month.
Garside says the focus is on Doncaster but admits that in spite of coach Mark Aston making dressing room talk of London “taboo” it’s in his mind. “The Rail Cup is important, there’s some silverware for us to win and it was one of our goals at the start of the season to win it and we’re in there with a chance of the final” he said.
“We’ve got to do the business. Dons was a good draw for us, it was probably the better game for us of the teams left in the semis.”
He added: “London’s already in the back of your mind. You take it game-by-game but it’s there.
“It’s a big game to play in, there will be a lot of people watching – a lot who might not normally watch the Championship. You just want to get your name out there.”
The 22-year-old joined Eagles from York as centre but the form of Tom Armstrong and Menzie Yere has limited his chances. That’s seen him regularly taking a place in the back of the pack. “I enjoy it in the back row. When I signed I came as a centre but when Tom Armstrong came in I had to wait,” he said. “I just work at my game and either centre or back row I’m happy.”
n Eagles on-loan forward Ben Gledhill’s future at Salford Reds could be decided soon. Coach Brian Noble is rebuilding the squad and says the “door is ajar” for players. Gledhill hasn’t played for the Reds since Noble was appointed in April and has made 10 appearances on loan at Eagles.