Sheffield Tigers: Drew Kemp hopes to kick on after winning national title
Newly-crowned British Under-19 Champion Drew Kemp hopes he kick on after sealing national glory.
The teenager received the perfect belated 17th birthday present as he lifted the trophy at Redcar on Thursday.
And ahead of tomorrow’s (5.30) home clash with Glasgow at Owlerton, Kemp admits he’s feeling boosted by his achievement.
“Of course it feels great and it’s something I’ll never forget,” Kemp said.
“I’ve worked so hard this year yet nothing has really been going my way.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve been struggling in the National League with Kent but it’s been tough because I’ve had a fair few bike problems.
“And in the Championship with Sheffield the scores haven’t been anywhere near what I would’ve liked them to be.
“But winning the British Under-19s just goes to show that I can do it and hopefully this will kickstart a better end to the season.”
Whilst enduring some tough times along the way, Kemp says his 2019 campaign with Sheffield will benefit him in the long run.
And he says the past seven days have been huge in terms of him managing his own expectations.
“To win the British Under-19s and to finish fifth in the Euros has proved to me that I can mix it with riders my own age and they are probably the people I should be comparing myself to,” Kemp said.
“I’ve been trying to compare my performances to the likes of Danny (King) and other top riders in the Championship who are either double my age or who have got triple my experience.
“I had a few meetings at reserve at the start of the year but not as many as I thought I would.
“It meant I didn’t get the experience in the position I expected myself to be in and it kind of threw me into the deep end with the averages changing how they did.
“Riding at No.2 was a lot tougher than I anticipated and the scores haven’t been good.
“But the learning that I’ve been doing has obviously rubbed off more than I knew and this whole experience will make me a better rider going forward.
“It’s been a big, important learning curve all round and now I want to use this as a boost to end the season on a high.”
Tigers are hoping skipper Kyle Howarth will be fit for the clash after stretching ligaments in Tuesday’s defeat at Redcar whilst Glasgow will include Great Britain ace Craig Cook after appealing his ban handed to him by the sport’s authorities.
SHEFFIELD: Danny King, Drew Kemp, Justin Sedgmen, Todd Kurtz, Kyle Howarth (if fit), Zaine Kennedy, Josh MacDonald.
GLASGOW: Craig Cook, Mikkel B Andersen, Michael Palm Toft, Sam Jensen, Rasmus Jensen, Kyle Bickley, Connor Bailey.