The Sheffield speedway teenager rated as “absolutely unbelievable” by his boss

Sheffield boss Simon Stead reckons that the managing of expectations surrounding teenage ace Drew Kemp could be one of their biggest challenges this season.

By Nigel Pearson
Monday, 01 April, 2019, 13:00
Drew Kemp. Picture courtesy of Andy Garner.

The 16-year-old wowed his new home fans, and management alike, as he top scored with 13+1 in Tigers’ 49-41 home win over Scunthorpe on Sunday.

And while Stead was quick to praise the youngsters performance, he is also keen to help keep Kemp’s feet on the ground. “It’s a tough one because you can’t help but get excited by Drew as he’s such a talent,” Stead said.

“We all know about his potential and we know that he really could go far. But part of that journey is about staying grounded and not getting carried away.

“I don’t think that will be a problem with Drew. He doesn’t seem to get over excited by a race win, he comes in from one ride and he’s already thinking about the next.

“He asks all the right questions and when you give him advice, you can literally see him digesting it all and you know it’s sinking in instantly.

“Then he goes out and backs it up by doing things on track that you’ve suggested to him and as a team manager there’s not much else that pleases you more than a rider taking on board what you’ve said and putting it into practice.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Drew was absolutely unbelievable on Sunday and I don’t like singling riders out - but he was probably our match-winner in the end when you think about it.

“It was such a mature performance but that’s all it was - one performance.

“I don’t say that in a negative way either but I just think it’s so, so important that especially with someone of his age, potential and ability that you literally do take each meeting as it comes.

“We know there’s going to be a lot of hype surrounding Drew this year, we know the expectation from the supporters is only going to grow, even more so after a performance like he produced on Sunday.

“But for me managing that expectation of him could actually be one of our biggest challenges in what should be a really exciting season for Sheffield Speedway.”

Tigers travel to Redcar in the Championship on Friday (7.30) before hosting the Bears at Owlerton on Sunday (4pm).