Tigers tight-knit during tough time

Josh Bates
Josh Bates
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Josh Bates says team spirit is helping Sheffield through a tough time following the loss of almost half the team.

Bates will be in action with his fellow Tigers tonight when they face Edinburgh at Owlerton in the first leg of their Knockout Cup tie.

Simon Stead and David Bellego crashed five weeks ago and Ty Proctor has been sent home because of visa issues.

Lasse Bjerre comes in for Stead tonight, the rider replacement facility will cover for Proctor and Jason Garrity replaced Bellego.

Barnsley teenager Bates says the remaining riders are sticking together to keep the season alive.

He said: “We’ve had a difficult spell with Ty Proctor having to go home and Simon Stead getting injured.

“It’s been a big blow to lose two important riders like that, but we’ve all stuck together and managed to keep picking up points.

“We’ve got a great team spirit and we all get on well, and that’s helped us get through this tough patch.

“We’ll keep plugging away and keep trying to win meetings, and hopefully we can keep riding well to have a good season.

“Everyone has been doing better than I thought and scoring plenty of points, so we know what we can do we just need to keep working hard throughout the season.”

Reigning league champions Edinburgh arrive with British star Craig Cook in their side – a regular guest for Sheffield since Stead’s crash.

Kevin Wolbert is also included after going close to signing for the Owlerton side in the winter before deciding to race in Scotland.

And West Yorkshire teenager Max Clegg, who has done plenty of laps around the Sheffield circuit, is included at reserve.

Sheffield: Lasse Bjerre, Ty Proctor R/R, Ashley Birks, Jason Garrity, Andre Compton, Josh Bates, Arthur Sissis.

Edinburgh: Sam Masters, Erik Riss, Kevin Wolbert, Justin Sedgman, Craig Cook, Max Clegg, Rob Branford.

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