Sheffield Tigers youngster Jack Parkinson-Blackburn admits his club debut was a massive learning curve.
The 16-year-old failed to score in the Tigers’ 51-42 opening night defeat at Ipswich on Saturday.
But the Ossett racer says it taught him where he needs to improve, and says this Thursday’s home challenge against Somerset will give him so invaluable track time.
Said Parkinson-Blackburn: “I knew Saturday was never going to be easy because not only are Ipswich are a good team but their track is quite tricky too.
“I’d been told it was one of the toughest in the league to ride and it was the first ever time I’d been there.
“But I’ve been there and done it now so I’ll know what to expect more next time I race there.
“It’s getting up to scratch with my starts more than anything; I need to continue working on those to make sure I’m competing more in the first corner.
“After that, I felt on the pace and if I could just get away from the tapes a bit quicker then I think I’d definitely have been challenging for some points.
“It was still a great moment for me though; Sheffield are my boyhood team and I’ve admired the club for so long growing up.
“The rest of the boys were great trying to help me and I don’t think it will take long for us to click and get a big win ourselves.
“The more time we spend together and the more track time we have, the quicker we’re going to gel and I think we’re in for a really good year.
“I’m really looking forward to the Somerset meeting on Thursday.
“It will be great to make my full Owlerton debut and for the team it will be a good test too.
“Somerset have gone up a league a now and it should set us up nicely for the rest of the season.
“I’ve made a few changes to my bikes so hopefully I can just take a few more steps forwards and learn from the experience again.”
Tigers host newly promoted Somerset on Thursday in their opening home meeting of the season – and admission is free as a special offer to launch the campaign.