Sheffield Eagles have launched a huge recruitment drive for 2019 with the signing of former hooker James Davey.
Mark Aston is preparing a major overhaul to his squad for the upcoming season after three disappointing years, and his first piece of business has seen him reunite with one of the key components of his back-to-back winning Championship squad of 2012 and 2013.
Davey was instrumental in Sheffield’s recent success, playing a huge role in their Grand Final triumphs before helping the club to a third-place finish in 2015.
He eventually left the Eagles after they went full-time the year after, a decision that saw one of the club’s most successful ever squads disband as they sought out part-time contracts.
Three key figures in that Sheffield squad, Davey, Dom Brambani and Patch Walker, all moved to Batley the year after and the Bulldogs defied the odds to reach the top four.
Meanwhile, Sheffield’s fortunes took a turn for the worse. Their full-time campaign saw them miss out on the top four and finish third in the Championship Shield, a position they also claimed in 2017 after they reverted back to part-time status.
Things have got even worse this season, with their 44-4 hammering at the hands of Batley seeing them drop to sixth in the Championship Shield with two games remaining.
But the future looks bright for the Eagles, with at least seven signings set to arrive at the club before next season, with all of them set to come from their Championship rivals.
Most of them will be from Batley, with their head coach Matt Diskin confirming four of his existing squad will be joining the Eagles in 2019.
“I won’t spoil the party for those boys but four of them are going to Sheffield,” Diskin said following their victory on Sunday.
Davey, who ironically got man of the match in Sunday’s game, will head that quartet, in a piece of business that will be seen as a significant piece of recruitment for the Eagles ahead of the next campaign.