RUGBY LEAGUE: Mark Aston remains defiant over Sheffield Eagles future

Eagles Coack Mark Aston
Eagles Coack Mark Aston
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SHEFFIELD Eagles are keeping to business as usual as the clouds gather over the future of their home ground for the last 22 years.

Coach and chief executive Mark Aston is confident the club will play the eight home games planned for Don Valley Stadium in the new season.

“We’ll be playing at Don Valley this season, that’s the most important thing,” he said.

A leaked report revealed this week that the stadium is facing closure and demolition as Sheffield Council seek to make £50million in savings to meet Government spending cuts.

Aston is determined to keep the focus on the season ahead, when the Eagles will also play five home games at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane ground.

“It won’t affect the players – they will be fine. We won’t let it affect us,” he said.

“The fans can be assured that we will be playing at Don Valley Stadium and Bramall Lane, two fantastic stadiums in 2013.”

The loss of Don Valley would also leave the Eagles without a training base with their teams using the stadium every weeknight.

But the growing links with Sheffield Hallam University could help fill that gap in the long term. The main problem for Aston and the Eagles board will be to find a new secure venue for their home games.

A re-opened Woodbourn Road athletics stadium would be unlikely to interest the Eagles - or meet RFL criteria.

The Eagles are again facing a battle to survive as the newly created club did in 1999 after the ill-fated ‘merger’ with Huddersfield Giants.

Aston said “Thirteen years ago we didn’t have a club and look where we are now.

“Anything that is thrown in the way of us we will resolve and it’ll be better for us.

“We are working hard with everybody.”