SHEFFIELD TIGERS: Koppe ‘on patrol’ at Owlerton next year

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SHEFFIELD have signed Australian prospect Damien Koppe as the second member of their squad for 2013.

The 24-year-old had been tracked by the Tigers for some time but has now signed an Owlerton deal for next year.

Koppe, who lives in Leeds and working as a mechanic, will join on a 5.00 average and joins British U21 Champion Joe Haines in the Tigers’ 2013 septet.

Sheffield team boss David Hoggart said: “We’ve actually had a deal in place with Damien for weeks because we knew there was a lot of interest in him, so we wanted to get him with us early on. Everything just feels right about the deal; he’s very level-headed, excellent with the mechanics of the bike, fast, smooth and he is so enthusiastic about being with us.

“I’ve seen him ride plenty of times and have been impressed, he is a great prospect for us.

“He’s that bit older, he’s mentally very sound, he knows that we won’t be piling the pressure on him and we’ll give him all the support he needs.”

Koppe’s father Steve was also a rider and represented Exeter in the 80s and that grounding stands Koppe Jnr in good stead according to Hoggart; “Damien has grown up around speedway and his brother rides too. His results in Australia have been good, last year he finished behind Josh Auty and Josh Grajczonek in the state championship and almost beat them too.

“He’s got an excellent pedigree and we’re confident he’ll at least hold his average.”