Sheffield Eagles will be putting themselves through the pain barrier this weekend as they look to end a turbulent period in their history by lifting the Championship Shield.
All eyes will be on Odsal this Sunday as they face Bradford Bulls in the final game of the season, or in the Eagles’ case, quite possibly their last ever as talks continue on a possible takeover.
Coach Mark Aston knows the potential importance of the fixture, and his eagerness to end the current chapter with a trophy has transferred onto his squad, many of which will be playing in the red and gold for the final time.
As such competition for places is intense, with Aston claiming that members of his squad will be pushing their pain thresholds to the limit in order to try and avenge their recent thumping to the Bulls.
“Nathan Chappell’s knee held up last week but he is in pain,” Aston said of his returning centre. “He is in pain after training and he is in pain after games too, but we have to manage it and make sure that he gets through.
“He was really good in the first half for us last weekend. We needed his calmness that he brings to this side.
“He is experienced and he is good at doing the little things and that is what you need in these sort of games.
“When you want to win semi-finals and finals you need people who are experienced.”
Long serving Menzie Yere is another who will be desperate for a return after breaking a bone in his hand which has ruled him out in recent weeks.
Aston has not given up hope of having one of his most trusted lieutenants available for Sunday’s final, backing the centre to do anything he can to make the matchday squad for this weekend’s finale.
“I’ll tell you, Menzie Yere will put his hand up,” Aston continued. “He will cut that pot off his arm because he will be desperate to play.
“That epitomises what we are trying to build.
“We have been inconsistent this season but we have played well in big games. We threw a lot of new players together and it has taken a bit of time but they have got better and I always knew that they would.”