Rebirth of the Eagles fulfils an ambition for Aston

More like a phoenix than an eagle, a new Sheffield club flapped its wings for the first time last night.

More like a phoenix than an eagle, a new Sheffield club flapped its wings for the first time last night.

Mark Aston, a Wembley hero for the original Sheffield Eagles 18 months ago, went straight from a meeting of the Rugby League Council that agreed to admit his fledglings to the Northern Ford Premiership to a training session after which he plans to sign up his first dozen players.

"I'm over the moon," said Aston, who will be the club's player-coach. "It's been a lot of hard work over the last month and I can't say I've enjoyed it, but this makes it all worth while."

Aston, the Lance Todd Trophy winner in the Challenge Cup Final in 1998, began his campaign to keep a full-time professional presence in Sheffield after his former club merged with Huddersfield.

The club will stay at the Don Valley Stadium, will begin its new life with a fixture at Lancashire Lynx on the 28 December.

"That only gives us about 19 days to prepare, but we've been training in getting to know each other over the last couple of weeks," Aston said. "It's going to be viable. We aren't getting any money from the league, but we've a support base of 2,000 and I can't believe how good the response has been from sponsors."

The meeting voted by a comfortable majority, but not unanimously, to admit Sheffield as associate members, which means that they will get their share of the income from the Challenge Cup, but not from the remaining slice of News Limited funding. Despite that handicap, Aston is confident that the new Eagles will be competitive. He intends to sign members of the previous club's Cup winning squad, including the former Great Britain second row, Michael Jackson, and says that recent upheavals have given the game a higher profile in the city than their Wembley victory did.

A vacancy appeared for the Eagles when Bramley, who had changed their minds about resigning from the league and applied to play their matches at Farsley Celtic's football ground, were told that those facilities were not up to standard. They now intend to run as an under-17 side with a possibility of resuming senior rugby at some stage in the future.

Sheffield, who have agreed not to apply for promotion for three years, even if they win the NFP, are to meet the Huddersfield-Sheffield Giants to work out how they can best help each other. The merged club is willing to concentrate the Sheffield half of its Super league fixtures in July, August and September, when the NFP season will be over.

The league's chief executive, Neil Tunnicliffe, is to meet the Thunder Storm pressure group today about the possibility of an application to field a side in Gateshead in 2001.

The chairman of Super League, Chris Caisley, has called for all the bodies running the game in Britain to move under the same roof.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea