Sheffield Eagles coach/director of rugby Mark Aston has revealed that the decision to release 10 of the club’s first-team players has been one of the most “difficult” times of his career as a coach.
Aston has held individual talks with his playing staff over the last couple of weeks, as the club look to put together a squad for next season when the Eagles return to a full-time operation.
And they have now confirmed that Scott Turner, Sam Smeaton, Dominic Brambani, James Davey, Pat Walker, Tony Tonks, Jamie Langley, Eddie Battye, Loto Tagaloa and Ben Musolino will all leave the Eagles after the end of the Super 8s.
Aston admitted that many of the above were unable to make the move up to full-time due to work and family commitments, but thanked his players for their effort and commitment whilst at the club.
“This has been probably the most difficult time of my coaching career so far,” Aston said.
“The last three or four weeks have been particularly tough for me because I have got a lot of respect for these guys. We have to write the next chapter in Sheffield Eagles’ history, but we will always be able to look back with fond memories.
“They have been great, they have been honest and respectful which is what you expect from them. This club will always be indebted to them because they have helped us make great strides this year.
“Many of these lads would have been staying with us, but the club has made a commitment to going full-time next year, and some of the lads cannot commit to that because of work or family reasons.”