Mark Aston praises Sheffield’s senior arrivals

Sheffield Eagles

Sheffield Director of Rugby Mark Aston has praised his senior players for the way they are mentoring younger players.

The Eagles made the acquisitions of Ben Jones-Bishop and Kris Welham among others ahead of the 2022 season. Aston has praised their impact so far.

Sheffield start their Championship campaign in a month’s time when they travel to newly-promoted Barrow. As a result of work on their home at Olympic Legacy Park, Sheffield will not play in the city until April.

In an interview with the club website, Aston said:“One of the things we have asked of the senior guys, those that have played at the top level or been in and around the top of this division, is to mentor the youngsters.

“Kris Welham has been a breath of fresh air, he is working his socks off as is Ben Jones-Bishop. 

“They’re applying themselves. Although you may think as players get older they might go through the motions, these two are up there with the most professional people I’ve ever met. 

“The juniors are finding their feet with us and the mentorship is what I want the club to be about. 

Aston hopes fans will like balance of the Sheffield team

Sheffield finished 12th in 2021. At the end of the season, they saw a lot of players depart the club. Rob Worrincy, Scott Wheeldon, Matt James and Frankie Mariano all retired. Meanwhile, Ryan Millar went to Bradford, Brad Knowles went to Halifax and James Glover went to York among others.

Despite the large turnover in players ahead of the new season, Aston believes the club have found the right balance with players.

He added: “The people like Ryan Johnson and Connor Bower will learn a lot from Kris Welham. The same with Matty Chrimes, Ben Sheils, Jason Bass learning from Ben Jones-Bishop. It’s a nice balance. 

“There will be competition of places and we’ll be a bit bigger this year, having brought in the likes of Brandon Douglas, James Johnson, Mikey Wood. 

“The fans will like the players for their work ethic and they’re the right sort of age to get better and develop into the best they can be.”

Read More: Sheffield’s return home delayed

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