SHEFFIELD Eagles are to return to their home city at the start of next season, bringing to an end a four year exile from the city of Sheffield.
From next season the Eagles will play on the 3G pitch at the city’s Olympic Legacy Park.
Club chairman Chris Noble said: “There has been a massive effort from everyone concerned to get us over the line. It has been extremely hard to bring to fruition but we have succeeded, we are back in the city where we should be.”
Cllr Mary Lea, cabinet Member at Sheffield City Council, added: “We are delighted that Sheffield Eagles will be back playing in the city, we have worked with Richard Caborn and the Olympic Legacy Park to secure funding for and develop a new multi-purpose, state of the art pitch for professional, community and educational use, which will be a great asset for Sheffield.”
Meanwhile Richard Caborn, from Legacy Park Ltd, commented: “We have been involved in many discussions which have led to this positive outcome for the Eagles, the city and the Olympic Legacy Park, I am delighted for the Club and the city.”
There will be three temporary stands built with the RFL requirements to be upheld, with a stand of 3,000 capacity to be eventually built.
Eight players of the current Eagles squad have left the club, these include, Duane Straugheir, Scott Wheeldon, Sam Scott, Jack Owens, Perry Whiteley, James Kelly, Paddy Flynn & Jordan Cox and Garry Lo (Castleford Tigers) and Elliot Minchella (Bradford Bulls).
Head coach Mark Aston said about the departing players: “It’s always sad when players depart but that is the nature of sport and they and we have to move on. Some of the players we put offers out to but they received very good offers elsewhere and we can’t criticise them for taking up these deals.
“Being a rugby league player is only a finite career and so they have to do what’s best for them and we wish them all the best.
“Some I couldn’t provide guarantees to or offer them the game time they need to develop their careers. There are some good kids with a great work ethic and I’ve no doubt they can and will find new clubs.”