I don't know how does that sprite pack look like. A link would be nice. So I am assuming you have an animation for each 45 angle for your sprite. (Correct me if I am wrong.)
But I believe you will need to use events to apply for all those animations you want. For example, for each 45 degrees angle of your animation strip, you could create animation named "player1_0", "player1_45", "player1_90", ... , "player1_315". Then, from the player's input (touch, keyboard, etc.), you set the animation with respect to the input. For example, if player is heading toward the right, set animation to "player1_180".
This is the gist of it but of course, there is also animation speed you need to take care of. For example, if player stops moving, set animation speed to 0. If player moves, set animation speed to more than 0. (You need to find a sweet number with respect to how your animation looks)