Sheffield Tigers: New boy Zaine Kennedy excited by opening night

New Sheffield Tigers signing Zaine Kennedy is relishing the prospect of a ‘real good test’ in their big season opener.

By Nigel Pearson
Thursday, 14 March, 2019, 10:31
New Tigers signing Zaine Kennedy (right) with co-owner Damien Bates

Kennedy has flown back to the UK from Australia and is ready to launch his British career at Owlerton in the club’s 90th anniversary meeting on Sunday week, March 24 (4pm).

Tigers have beaten other Championship clubs to the signature of Kennedy, who will also become a fully fledged asset of the club.

He’ll appear alongside his Tigers team mates, plus a glittering list of riders including former World Longtrack Champion Erik Riss, Great Britain star Stevie Worrall and Wolverhampton’s Premiership racer Rory Schlein.

“I think it will be a real good test for me,” Kennedy said.

“I’m realistic, I’m prepared to be on the back foot a little in that one as it’s still all new to me riding over here and the line-up is looking very strong.

“But that’s fine by me as I want to use this meeting as a learning meeting to set myself up for the league racing that will follow.

“Now I’m here it’s definitely kicked in that I’m about to start my career over here; I am a bit anxious but I’m also so excited to get the ball rolling and enjoy the experience.

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“The main adjustment is getting used to the cold temperatures; it was 30 degrees when I left home and it was five degrees when I landed in the UK.

“So that’s the first thing I’m slowly getting used to but I’m sure I’ll adjust pretty soon and I can’t wait to meet everyone at Press and Practice next week.”

Sheffield co-promoter Damien Bates is excited by the prospect of Kennedy lining up in the side.

“I’ve watched his progress and he’s managed to do some riding back in Australia during our winter,” he said.

“He can be a very important rider in our team but we have to give the lad time to settle in as it’s a big ask coming to a new country and starting a professional career.

“We did that with Broc Nicol last year and he’s back with us so we’re pleased about that.”

Tigers’ Press Day gets underway at 5pm at Owlerton next Wednesday, March 20.