RICKY Wells is determined to make a flying start to his Sheffield career when he lines up against Elite League giants Belle Vue at Owlerton tonight (7.45).
The Californian, who turned down six other Premier League clubs to sign for Tigers, will be nervous before his first race. He said: “I’m excited about joining Sheffield and hope I can make a good start.
“I scored a few for Wolverhampton on Monday night against Poole and it would be nice to open up well for Sheffield, but it’s a tough start because they’ve put us up against a team from a higher level.
“I’ve got no doubt we can have a good season, the team is packed with potential. I know Klaus Jakobsen from my time at Stoke. “Belle Vue will be favourites to win, but you can be sure we will give it everything before we start our Premier League programme aon Saturday.”
Josef Franc and Richard Hall both return to Owlerton for another spell with the Tigers who hand a debut to Wells, Joe Haines and Jakobsen after a winter reshuffle.
Belle Vue include Australian World Cup star Rory Schlein, who won the Elite League Riders’ Championship at the end of last season, plus new signing Adam Shields from Lakeside and classy Danish duo Patrick Hougaard and Charlie Gjedde.
The meeting also sees club co-promoter David Hoggart taking charge of the team for the first time after Eric Boocock’s departure. He will be assisted by youth boss Nigel Hinchliffe.
SHEFFIELD: Josef Franc, Hugh Skidmore, Ricky Wells, Richard Hall, Emiliano Sanchez, Joe Haines, Klaus Jakobsen.
BELLE VUE: Rory Schlein, Josh Grajczonek, Patrick Hougaard, Charlie Gjedde, Adam Shields, Simon Lambert, Linus Eklof.