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?
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
footballLouis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United and Wenger can still spring a surprise
The spider makes its break for freedom
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales / Account Manager

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales / Account Manager is re...

Ashdown Group: Application Developer - C#.Net, ASP.Net - Cambridgeshire

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Software Application Developer (C# & ASP.Net, SQL S...

Recruitment Genius: Payroll Officer - Part Time

£12047 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Part Time Payroll Officer required for t...

Recruitment Genius: Event Management and Marketing Admin Support

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot