Bramall Lane games a test of city’s appetite for the Eagles, says Aston

Mark Aston
Mark Aston

With one game of the 2015 season remaining, Sheffield Eagles do have the capacity to attract more supporters to Bramall Lane this Sunday.

That is the opinion of director of rugby Mark Aston, who has been looking to the use the final two games back in Sheffield to test the water on the city’s appetite for rugby league.

Just over 2,000 fans watched his side’s return to the Steel City last Friday, which was boosted by a good following of Hull KR supporters.

This Sunday Wakefield are the visitors and Aston believes that the 3pm kick off can help attract more supporters, as his side look to bring the curtain down on their season with a victory over Super League opposition.

“I think last week there was a good turnout from both teams. Is there more to come? I think so,” said Aston.

“It was the first game in another sport last Friday, and there are a lot of people who do watch rugby union in Sheffield. It is massive.

“Hopefully on Sunday against Wakefield there will be more people here, certainly in the corporate areas there are a lot more people at the games.

“We need to put a show on. I don’t think anyone coming away from the club last weekend will have been disappointed. I would have thought they would have enjoyed it.”

The Eagles long term future looks set for a new stadium at the site of their old Don Valley Stadium home, but short-term they could once again look to use Bramall Lane as a temporary solution. A good crowd this Sunday could help tip the balance in favour of an early return to Sheffield; with Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium willing to house the club if a deal cannot be struck.

Aston has refused to be drawn on an answer to a short-term home, but is in no doubt that he believes his exiled side need to be back home as soon as possible.

“Sheffield is the way forward,” Aston added.

“There were 2,000 plus fans there at the weekend which is great. The facilities are great; the pitch is fantastic as are the atmosphere and acoustics. We are Sheffield Eagles, we are proud of that and we do want to be back in the City, there is no doubt about it. It is certainly at the top of the agenda at this moment.”