SHEFFIELD Eagles have their sights on a third successive Championship Grand Final appearance next season.
In a New Year message to supporters coach Mark Aston admits he will also be targeting a first ever Northern Rail Cup.
Eagles won their first Championship Trophy last season after defeating Featherstone Rovers in a repeat of the previous year’s final. “It would be nice to get the three [Grand Finals] and win two,” he said. We will keep our heads down and work hard when the season starts.
“We have never been to a Northern Rail Cup Final so that would be something we would like to do in 2013. We like being on the big stage and we like playing in finals. I know the players are keen to back up with another title.”
Eagles kick off the new season with a trip to Halifax on January 31 and follow that with home game against Batley Bulldogs - two of the teams Aston highlights as challengers to the crown.
With the league increased to 14 teams - including last season’s Championship One winners, Doncaster - battling through to a top six play-off place will be a test of stamina.
“It’ll be a hard league. Teams have got stronger - Featherstone, Leigh, Halifax will be there,” said Aston. John Kear at Batley always gets the best out of his teams and watch Dewsbury who have a new coach.
“It’ll be a different competition with new teams coming up and we have a South Yorkshire derby again which is great for the game.
“We have to make sure we keep working hard, I’ve been delighted with what the players are doing in pre-season training although we haven’t been out on the field as often as we wanted but we never do because of the weather.”