Sheffield coach Mark Aston wants further improvement from his Eagles side this season, and says if they do improve, it will bring them some silverware.
That run did, however, give Sheffield belief and the experience of making it to the end of a knockout competition, something which they famously did in 1998 when they beat Wigan in the Challenge Cup final.
Aston has made no secret of his ambitions to see the Eagles grace Super League once again, and they will be hunting on-field success to help build momentum for a potential licence application for 2015.
He said: “We enjoyed the occasion last year, but we didn’t enjoy the game. Featherstone were definitely the best team in the competition, and we weren’t disgraced, we did really well to get there.
“What the players achieved last year was amazing. We wanted to do a little bit better than the year before, which we did, and we got to the Grand Final. It gives us that little more confidence and belief in ourselves, and shows if we have got belief, focus and desire, you can do anything in life, and that’s what we strive for.
“If we can keep improving every year, rugby league in Sheffield will thrive. We’re definitely improving off the field with our academy, scholarship and reserves, we just need to improve a bit more on the first team.
“If we do improve this season, it means we win something. We need to improve in the Northern Rail Cup and we’ll be a pretty happy bunch of guys.”