Speedway: Sheffield Tigers and the rumblings of discontent on the terraces

Sheffield bosses are demanding improvement from some areas of the team – but aren’t threatening to wield the axe.

By The Star Newsroom
Monday, 13 May, 2019, 12:22
Tigers reserves' Broc Nicol and Zaine Kennedy, inconsistent scores so far. Picture courtesy of Taylor Lanning.

Tigers were held back to a 45-45 draw in a Sunday afternoon thriller with Glasgow at Owlerton, leaving their cup hopes hanging by a thread.

Inconsistency is creeping into the side and there were rumblings of discontent on the terraces.

Club co-promoter Damien Bates said: “We want to work with these guys and help them develop but I think they know they can do better as a team. I hear what the fans say, but the league season hasn’t even started properly yet, there’s a long way to go. That said, we dropped silly points on Sunday and it was disappointing to see.

“It’s a test of character for the lads now. We need to see an improvement this weekend when we face Berwick away on Saturday and back at Owlerton on Sunday. It’s an opportunity for us to bounce back and get some league points on the board and we need to.”

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Tigers dipped out of the Championship Shield with a home defeat by Leicester – and Bates wants to see them go through the rest of the season unbeaten at Owlerton.

“I don’t want to be hearing excuses, we need to win our home matches now the league is here,” he said. “It’s vital for us because any successful season is based around a good home record.

“We are all getting used to Sunday racing and the challenges that presents with track preparation, but the riders have to adapt and some are doing well, others are struggling. I agree with our manager Simon Stead when he says we can ask a bit more from possibly every rider, although that may be a bit harsh on Zaine Kennedy and Drew Kemp who are in their first season in this league.

“I must emphasise this is not a warning shot to the lads, but we would like to see more consistency and we will do anything we can to help them. We want to be supportive and help the team, rather than threaten changes here and there.

“If, in a few weeks, we are still dropping silly points in the league then it may be a different story – but for now we are working with the seven lads we picked to ride for the club.”