Local lad Ashley Birks is on his way home to Owlerton stadium as Sheffield Tigers’ first signing for the 2015 campaign.
The popular 24-year-old will race for his home-town club for a second spell, on loan from Scunthorpe.
Birks began his Premier League career with the Owlerton outfit back in 2011 after successfully converting to speedway from motocross in 2010.
He enjoyed an encouraging start to life in the second tier, quickly becoming a huge hit on the Owlerton terraces before departing for local rivals Scunthorpe.
However, after three years at the Eddie Wright Raceway he will be back in Tigers colours – and he says he always intended to return to the Sheffield club.
Having overcome two years of injury hell, Birks is hoping to benefit from a change of scenery and hit the ground running in 2015.
Said Birks: “I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity because I feel I need a change just to freshen things up. I took the offer with both hands.
“Everyone has seen how enthusiastic the promoters are at Sheffield. They are trying to make things happen and they want a winning team.
“It had always been in my plans to come back to Sheffield at some stage because it’s my local track and it’s one of the best in the country, if not the best.
“It’ll be sad to leave Scunthorpe because I’ve had good times there and I can’t say a bad word about them, Rob and Gail and everyone there. They’ve been very supportive but I just feel as though I need a change.
“I’m going to take a bit of time out and have a break but I’m going to get some practice in long before the starts.
“Some guys don’t race until press and practice and then they’re race rusty when it all starts, but that won’t be the case with me.
“I needed to prove to myself that I can still do it after the injury last year and I’m happy with the way it turned out.
“I’m confident we’ll have a good team at Sheffield and I’m really looking forward to being there again.”