Rubgy League: Aston hopes history repeats itself

Corey Hanson is in contention to start this weekend.
Corey Hanson is in contention to start this weekend.

Sheffield Eagles hope that history will be repeated when they kick off the new season with a return to Owlerton Stadium.

Rochdale Hornets are the visitors on Sunday – as they were 30 years ago when the Eagles won their first ever game 29-10.

“It’s an exciting time to take it back to where it all started and some people who played in the first ever game will be there,” said coach Mark Aston.

“There’s a lot of interest and season ticket sales are up and we hope lots of people will come down and support us.”

The greyhound stadium has provided a lifeline that keeps the Eagles in the city after the closure of Don Valley where they were based for nearly 25 years.

There was a last-minute drama when Wednesday’s hurricane force winds bent the newly-erected posts.

“The posts were up and it looks like a rugby stadium but the wind bent them and we have get them fixed before we can play,” said Aston.

Supporters will be closer to the action at Owlerton and the club hope to exploit the extensive corporate facilities, restaurants and bars.

The narrow pitch could see the team adopting a more forward-power attacking style.

Most of the Eagles players will get their first sight of the stadium when they arrive for Sunday’s game kick-off 2pm.

Aston, who played the early part of his Eagles career at Owlerton. “The pitch will be heavy and there’s not a lot of space out there.

“We’ll restructure our style of play and fine tune a few things. It’s a tight pitch and you have to adapt.”

A major selection decision will be who starts in the centre with Menzie Yere. Aston has to choose between Corey Hanson and loanee Jon Ford.