Sheffield Eagles: Mark Aston worried about possible player exodus

Mark Aston

Mark Aston

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Director Mark Aston fears more players will jump ship if Sheffield Eagles don’t move quickly to resolve their prospective takeover.

Aston confirmed at the start of this week that he has lost two players already for next season, and if the Eagles, as expected, revert back to a part-time operation, all current full-time deals would be up for re-negotiation.

Out-of-favour half-back Rhys Jacks is joining Toronto Wolfpack next season.

He has been a peripheral figure since arriving in South Yorkshire, but the Canadian side may target more of the Eagles squad as they look to add established Championship players to their ranks for their inaugural season in the RFL.

Aston admits there is nothing he can do during the current impasse as he awaits news of a takeover.

“There are 14 here who are contracted who I want to keep, and there are others too,” Aston told The Star.

“The hard thing for me is that until the issue is resolved I can’t do anything, so I am going to lose players. A couple have already gone and I can’t blame them for that.

“If these other players can’t handle the uncertainty, then what is going to happen to them? It is vital over to get a plan together to make sure the club goes back in the right direction.”

Canadian side Toronto will play in League One next season, but have already showed intent with former Leigh coach Paul Rowley snapping up the likes of Liam Kay from his old club, Reece Dean from Hull FC and Dan Fleming from Bradford.

Aston, who has refused to name the departing players, understands the players’ situation as he waits for further news as to whether he can start to build for next season.

“There are a clubs out there offering crazy money part-time,” he added.

“They are offering to pay more than what we would pay full-time, so you can’t blame some players for going for it.

“No-one here wants to take a backward step, because a lot of hard work has gone into this club. I still believe we can come through it.”