Eagles sign ex-Bronco Ball
Sheffield Eagles have signed former London Broncos Academy graduate Chris Ball on a one-year deal.
The centre/second-rower makes the switch to South Yorkshire while studying at Coventry University.
Aston has put down a challenge for Ball to break into the first team - something that the utility is keen to accomplish.
“I am really excited for the new season with the Eagles,”
“I am confident in my ability that I’ll be able to get game time this year.
“I know it will be tough but I have had a chat about it with Mark and he told me that he’ll be looking to push a few youngsters this year.
“Mark got in touch with me at the start of 2020 and I was supposed to come up for this year but that didn’t work out.
“Now I’ve moved to Coventry, that has given me the chance to play for the Eagles.”
Having been an Academy player within a professional setup, Ball reflected fondly on his time with London - as well as the recent switch to playing in the forwards which opens up more first team chances for himself.
“I have been with the Broncos for two years, which I enjoyed a lot.
“I grew up playing centre but started to play in the back-row last year. I am happy to play anywhere for the team.
Discussing the Eagles’ new recruit, Aston added: “He is a strong guy, who has had a bit of time in Rugby Union,”
“Not many people will know much about him but he is explosive and will certainly be one for the future, although he’ll be pushing to get in the side this year too.
Aston’s new signings for 2021 are relatively young and he has highlighted the importance of “succession planning” and to “develop from within.”
“We need to develop rugby league players,” said Aston.
"When I speak about the senior guys, we know they’re not going to be here forever so we need to develop from within and this is where the likes of Chris come in.
“It’s about succession planning and we have a number of forwards who can step up and be here for a good few years.
“Chris can play in the centre as well as back-row and we’re looking forward to seeing where he is at.
“The only way we can do that is by playing him so he will get game time, and how he handles that - who knows?"
By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman