Sheffield Tigers’ Rob Branford set up to star after guidance of boss Simon Stead

Rob Branford leads Richard Hall and Tom Bacon in Heat 2 against Redcar on May 11
Rob Branford leads Richard Hall and Tom Bacon in Heat 2 against Redcar on May 11
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Rob Branford has sung the praises of Tigers chief Simon Stead for his advice on bike set-up ahead of tonight’s Championship clash with Glasgow at Owlerton Stadium (7.30).

Stead, who only retired as a rider in the winter, has spent time with Branford trying to get him faster in a key position for the team.

Sheffield Tigers manager Simon Stead. Picture: Marie Caley

Sheffield Tigers manager Simon Stead. Picture: Marie Caley

It’s a smart move by Stead, pictured right , who is also playing a key role with Slovakian star Martin Vaculik at the Grand Prix series.

Branford said: “I looked into making some changes to my equipment and Simon has been a massive, great help over the last few weeks with that.

“He’s sorted me out with an engine and it’s great to have a team manager who doesn’t mind jumping in with the boys and getting his hands dirty.”

And ahead of tonight’s meeting, Branford says team spirit is the best he’s known in his career.

“This is without doubt one of the best teams I’ve ever been a part of,” he said.

“There’s an amazing team atmosphere, there’s a positive vibe around and that makes you want to go out there even more and battle even harder for each other because you don’t want to let everyone else down.

“We want to keep our home record unbeaten but we’ll have some tougher tests than we’ve had so far – and Glasgow will probably be one of them.

“We just need to keep doing what we’re doing though but right now I believe that if we can stay away from those injuries, then we’ve got a great chance of going all the way this year.”

* Tonight’s Owlerton line-up -

Tigers: Josh Grajczonek, Todd Kurtz, Lasse Bjerre, Josh Bates, Kyle Howarth, Rob Branford, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn.

Glasgow: Richie Worrall, Dan Bewley, Aaron Summers, Nike Lunna, Richard Lawson, Tom Perry, Jack Smith.