Stead hopeful of making more history

Sheffield legend Simon Stead reckons there’s a bigger buzz than ever before ahead of tomorrow’s opener.

The Tigers will celebrate their 90th Anniversary at Owlerton with the Steel City Championship (4pm start).

Sheffield are steeped in British Speedway history with a whole host of silverware collected down the years.

But Stead, who is now team manager of the current side, has high hopes that more can be collected in 2019.

“There’s a buzz around the city and rightfully so,” Stead said.

“Fair play to the promotion for really excelling themselves when it’s come to promoting the club over the winter in various ways and fingers crossed moving to Sunday’s is going to be a successful change.

“They’re exciting times for Sheffield - especially when you look at the boys we’ve got riding for us this year.

“With the team we’ve put together we rightfully start the season as favourites - but we’ve got to live up to that.

“We’ve said to the boys though to embrace that fact and actually be the people other teams are aiming to beat.

“We’ve got a great set of lads and you can tell already from the banter in the group chats and on press day that there’s a completely different feeling than there was at the start of last year.

“But tomorrow we’ve not only got what should prove to be a great test for the boys in their first meeting of the season at Owlerton but also a fantastic occasion for Sheffield Speedway.

“It goes without saying that it’s a club that’s close and dear to my heart; not only are they my local side but I was also fortunate enough to ride for them for a fair few years whilst winning some major trophies along the way.

“A 90th Anniversary should be acknowledged and should be celebrated because it’s a very proud moment for any club.

“But Sheffield have had some unforgettable times throughout their history - and hopefully there’ll be more of those moments in 2019.”

Gates open at Owlerton from 2pm with a rider autograph and picture session taking place at 3.15.

That’s before Sheffield hero Ricky Ashworth, who almost lost his life in a racing accident nearly five years ago, will take to the track on a tandem bike and complete four laps ahead of the rider introductions at 3.40.

Children Under-16 will be admitted free of charge all season.

LINE-UP: Danny King, David Bellego, Ryan Douglas, Rory Schlein, Kyle Howarth, Drew Kemp, Erik Riss, Zaine Kennedy, Lewis Kerr, Kasper Andersen, Todd Kurtz, Simon Lambert, Broc Nicol, Ty Proctor, Steve Worrall, Josh Auty.