Eric glad to be back as Sheffield Tigers eye upset

Eric Boocock and Marc Bates
Eric Boocock and Marc Bates
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Sheffield co-boss Eric Boocock says it feels like he’s never been away ahead of his managerial return against Leicester at Owlerton tonight (7.30pm).

The Premier League club will host Elite League opposition in the second leg of their inter-league challenge.

Tigers slipped to a 59-34 defeat at Beaumont Park in the first leg on Saturday but have high hopes for a much-improved showing on home soil.

And Boocock, who is back with the club as co-manager alongside Marc Bates after a four-year absence, believes his side have what it takes to defeat their top-flight opponents.

“It feels like I’ve never been away!” Boocock declared. “Ever since I retired, I’ve found myself spending all my time down at Owlerton watching speedway.

“I’ve always been in close contact with the sport, and I’m looking forward to being back working alongside Marc in a management capacity again. It’s going to be great to be involved with the team again and hopefully helping to make sure it’s a successful season for Sheffield.

“It’s important for the lads to get these meetings against Leicester early in the season. It’s a good challenge to take on an Elite League team and should hopefully help everyone get up to speed.

“It’s a tough test, but I’d like to think we can give them a run for their money at Owlerton and come away with a win.

“We’ve got plenty of riders who already know their way around Owlerton pretty well, so we are aiming for a win and I’m sure it would give everyone plenty of confidence going into our League Cup and Premier League fixtures.”

Sheffield are boosted by the return of skipper Simon Stead after he was forced to sit out the first leg due to concussion.

His return means they will be at full strength, while the Lions draft in Chris Widman to ride at reserve with former Tigers ace Josh Auty moving into the main body to cover for Szymon Wozniak.

Sheffield: Simon Stead, Dimitri Berge, Kyle Howarth, Josh Bates, Jason Garrity, Richard Hall, Nathan Greaves.

Leicester: Patrick Hougaard, Nicolai Klindt, Grzegorz Walasek, Josh Auty, Sebastian Ulamek, Paul Starke, Chris Widman.