Speedway: Sheffield 'a force to be reckoned with', admits Belle Vue boss as Tigers hit KO Cup trail

Sheffield Tigers ready to start speedway KO Cup campaign at Belle Vue, with double hopes in mind
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Sheffield speedway boss Simon Stead wants the win the double this season - and sees tomorrow's KO Cup clash with Belle Vue as the first step.

The two teams meet at the National Speedway Stadium tomorrow at noon in the first leg of the KO Cup, and the Tru7 Group Tigers are aiming for their third cup final in three years, after winning the cup in 2022, and finishing runners up last season.

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This season the club hope to go one better than last year's Premiership title success by winning the cup as well.

Sheffield team manager Simon Stead. Picture: David Kessen, National WorldSheffield team manager Simon Stead. Picture: David Kessen, National World
Sheffield team manager Simon Stead. Picture: David Kessen, National World

Stead said: “Since we moved into the Premiership it’s a competition we’ve done well in.

“We won the cup in 2022 and we reached the final last year.

“Before this season got started I spoke about us going one further this campaign - and the only way we can do that is by doing the double.

“So it’s a competition we’re taking very seriously and with our first tie being against our good rivals Belle Vue, it makes us want to win it even more.

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“It won’t be easy though and we’re going to need to be right at it from the get-go because they’ve built another solid team this year.

“They’re good around their home track but it can be very different in these daytime meetings.

“We’re feeling good about ourselves though; we’ve ran two late shows in our first two meetings and there have been positives we can bring forward with us.

“So the lads are up for it and we want to put ourselves in the best position possible ahead of our home tie later in the week.”

Both sides will be at full strength.

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Belle Vue boss Mark Lemon said his team was looking forward to taking on the league champions.

He said: “It’s been a good while since Belle Vue lifted the Knockout Cup – seven years in fact – and we’d love nothing better than to take a hefty lead to Owlerton on Thursday. 

“The Tigers have found things pretty tough to kick things off. We’ve been there, done that. It’s harder to retain a league title than it is to win one, and they do have their work cut out.

“But with likes of Woffinden and the Holder brothers in their side, they are a force to reckoned with. Whatever happens, I’m anticipating a close and exciting afternoon of racing.” 

The second leg will be at Owlerton on Thursday.

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Belle Vue: Brady Kurtz, Norick Blodorn, Jaimon Lidsey, Ben Cook, Dan Bewley, Connor Mountain, Connor Bailey.

Sheffield: Jack Holder, Kyle Howarth, Chris Holder, Josh Pickering, Tai Woffinden, Jason Edwards, Dan Gilkes.

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