Opportunity knocks for Eagles’ Broadbent

Blake Broadbent. Pic by Matthew Merrick
Blake Broadbent. Pic by Matthew Merrick

Blake Broadbent’s Sheffield Eagles opportunity may come around a little quicker than he might of expected.

The youngster recently agreed a one-year deal with the Eagles after a successful six-week trial.

The initial plan was to secure him a loan switch in order for him to further his rugby league education, but after a string of defeats to start the 2018 campaign, director Mark Aston included the young forward in his 19-man squad for the recent Challenge Cup encounter against Barrow.

Whilst the Eagles will have greater numbers available for part two of their double-header against the Raiders this Sunday, Aston hasn’t ruled out an earlier than expected outing for Broadbent.

“We were delighted to take Blake and we did that because we believed there was potential for him to play,” Aston said.

“He isn’t the finished article but he is only 19. He is a worker, he is a trier - he is exactly like his dad.

“He is one of them that will work hard. He will keep going because he is competitive. I don’t think that we have enough of that in some of the others in that changing room at the moment. Don’t be surprised if he gets a look in.”

Another of Aston’s youngsters, Max Garcia, was also in the squad last weekend as the duo look to dislodge some of their more seasoned colleagues who have misfired so far.

Aston though is expected to have greater numbers from St Helens for their return to Cumbria this Sunday, whilst he will again be hopeful that registration and visa issues will be solved to allow new signing Corey Makelim and veteran centre Menzie Yere a return to action.

Aston has previously hinted that a temporary switch to Wakefield Trinity’s second string has been mooted for Broadbent, but the son of Eagles legend Paul has been given some early encouragement that a pathway to the Eagles first-team could well be on the cards.

Aston said: “You can train as much as you want but at the end of the day, you need to play.”

He added: “We don’t have a reserve team, so we need to get him game time. It could happen at Wakefield and play for their Academy or their reserve team, but if we feel there is an opportunity here then he’ll play. He isn’t that far away.”