Sheffield Eagles boss Mark Aston wants to have his squad for next season finalised by the end of September.
The Eagles have started to announce the foundations of their squad, confirming Menzie Yere and Dominic Brambani have signed new contracts whilst recruiting Australian hooker Blake South. Aston said: “We’re getting close. There are a few other exciting signings to be announced and we are looking at people who have done well within our system.
“Next year we’re going to have a very strong 25-man squad and we’re also going to have some good young kids fighting for a place.”
Aston praised Brambani, as the halfback signed up for his sixth season with the club in two different spells.
“Dom is the ultimate professional” Aston said.
“He is better being with us than going anywhere else because on his day he is one of the best halfbacks in the competition. All kids should aspire to be the next Brambani. His attitude towards training and the detail that he puts into his extra work is what we’re looking for.”
With Kyle Briggs and Cory Aston already signed up for next year, the coach could have an embarrassment of riches to choose from in the halfback area if Pat Walker signs a new deal with the club.
Aston continued: “We have three, potentially four quality halfbacks. Dom knows he has to hit the mark; Cory was man of the match a couple of weeks ago, and could fit into the side alongside Kyle Briggs, who is running the show.”
The acquisition of South represents a replacement for Andrew Henderson, who is leaving Sheffield to take up the Assistant Coach job at London Broncos.
“We’ve been looking for a hooker over here for a while and there wasn’t too much about” Aston added. “This kid has been playing New South Wales Cup for the last two years and has been in a very good system. He is really good around the ruck, and seems to have that bit of time.”