Ex England chief flies flag for Sheffield Tigers

Eric Boocock, left, with club sponsor Ian Hunter during his last spell in charge at Owlerton.
Eric Boocock, left, with club sponsor Ian Hunter during his last spell in charge at Owlerton.
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Former England boss Eric Boocock is back with Sheffield as part of a top table reshuffle for the new season.

Boocock will be in charge of the team alongside Marc Bates, who takes his first steps into management. Bates is the brother of Tigers co-promoter Damien and has been actively working with riders and assisting with club duties over the last two seasons.

Sheffield Tigers

Sheffield Tigers

They take over from Jack Lee who has been invited to oversee second half racing with youngsters looking to impress.

It’s a bold move from the Owlerton outfit as they aim to make 2016 a season to remember – but Damien Bates is delighted to have the pair on board and believes the change will work well.

“We’ve got Eric Boocock and Marc on board as our new management team, who will help me a lot more and have a much bigger role,” he said.

“Last year I spent a lot of time sorting riders and booking guests, but they’ll do much more of that kind of thing as well as taking care of the team.

“They will also have more of a role in terms of track preparation, working with the track staff to make sure things are how the riders want them to be.

“The way we are planning to do it is Eric will take care of home meetings with Marc’s assistance, then Marc will take charge of away meetings with Eric’s assistance.

“It’s very hard to get somebody to commit to the team manager’s role who can make it to every meeting, so this just makes perfect sense.

“They will both work together but if one of them is missing then we have somebody else to drop in and keep the continuity.

“Marc knows all the riders well, he has authority and respect from them so I’m sure he’ll be able to handle the role well. Obviously Eric has masses and masses of experience which speaks for itself. He’s done just about everything you can do in the sport, he’s won lots of things so to have him back involved is a massive boost.

“We are all excited for the season to start now, so hopefully everything will come together and we’ll have a successful year.”

n Skipper Simon Stead will take his first laps around Owlerton in almost a year tonight.

Stead is set for a comeback after suffering multiple injuries in an horrific spill at Rye House last April.

He will go through his paces along with the rest of the Tigers team at the club’s rearranged press and practice (5pm.)