Anthony Thackeray and Joel Farrell named club captain and vice captain
Anthony Thackeray will be the Sheffield Eagles club captain for the 2022 season.
The scrum-half, who enters his final year of an accomplished rugby league career, has been the vice-captain to the now-retired Matt James for the past three seasons.
Taking Thackeray’s former role as second in command will be fans favourite Joel Farrell, who captained the club in the final league game of 2021 against Featherstone Rovers.
Thackeray, the Man of the Match in the Eagles’ 1895 Cup triumph at Wembley in 2019, is delighted to be given the captaincy: “I am really happy as I have been sat behind Jamesey, and supported him in the role, for the past couple of years,”
“I was the captain when he got injured in 2019. In terms of my role, it doesn’t change what I do but it’s a privilege to the captain this club - especially in such a big year as we come back to the city.
“I have loved my time at Sheffield and it was a big factor in me signing a two-year deal initially, which takes me into my final season in 2022.
“I love the club, love what it’s about and everyone within it. From all the players, coaching staff, backroom staff, it’s a great place to be.”
Thackeray had great words to share regarding Farrell’s leadership attributes, as the Reggae Warrior becomes the understudy to the playmaker.
“Faz is a leader and has played at this level for a long time now,”
“He leads by example and you know what you’ll get from Joel. He runs hard, tackles hard, he’s fit and strong and leads with his actions.
“He will bring out some more leadership qualities with his talk but you don’t want to take too much away from him as you don’t want that aggressive side going away, as that is part and parcel of his game.”
The Jamaican star spoke of his pride in being chosen as Sheffield’s vice-captain: “I’m happy with it, it's good progression for me,”
"I’ve gone through a crazy stage at the start of my career but now I have grown up a bit and now I’ve got players looking up to me.
“I’m looking to help the boys anywhere I can, not just on the field but off it as well, said Farrell.
“When it was me coming through people like Karl Pryce took me under their wing, they looked after me.
“It’s my turn to return the favour and be there for these young kids and give them the best advice I can.”
Farrell is looking forward to working alongside Thackeray as the duo enter their sixth year playing together, previously with Dewsbury Rams and now the Eagles.
Speaking on the skipper, Farrell said: “I’ve been around him a lot and I can’t say a bad word about him, he’s probably the best half-back I’ve played with and he’s one of the best blokes I’ve ever met,”
"I’ve got the utmost respect for Thacks,
“I’ve played with him for a long time and everyone knows that he can win games singlehandedly.”
The 27-year-old reflected on a disappointing 2021 for the club while he detailed his excitement for the start of the Championship season.
“Some of my best mates left last year, it was sad to see them go but it’s rugby league, it’s what happens, we've moved on,” he added.
“It’s probably been the toughest pre-season I’ve ever had, some of the boys that have come in are ridiculously fit, they’re ready to go, they’re keen and ready to play.”
“There should be good competition for places, everyone wants to play
"I want to compete, I want to play and show people what I can do, I want to see what the rest of the boys can do.”
You can watch Thackeray and Farrell in action at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park with a Season Membership, available here.
By Dan Fowler and Lewis Coleman, photo by Alex Coleman