‘Priority’ signing Haines is the first Tiger for next year

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BRITISH Under-21 Champion Joe Haines is the first name on Sheffield’s team sheet for 2013.

The Bolton racer has been a bright spark for the Tigers in a disappointing season, consistently impressing with his scores from reserve.

Tigers bosses were desperate to tie him down for next year and moved swiftly to secure their man, who had made no secret of his desire to stay at Owlerton for another year.

Team boss David Hoggart is delighted that the former British Under-15 Champ is on board again.

He said: “We made it a priority to get Joe signed for another year and we told him that some time ago.

“He’s been excellent for us all season, we knew that we’d have to have a bit of patience because Joe came to us off the back of a very tough 18 months.

“We’ve worked with him and him with us and it paid off this year, you could see that he was enjoying his speedway again.

“Joe’s form got better throughout the season and he really was a potent weapon for us at reserve.

“We’re over the moon that he’ll be a Tiger again in 2013 and hopefully the fans will be too.”

Hoggart also alluded to the fact that Haines’ situation is similar to that of former Sheffield favourite Josh Auty.

He said: “I’m not comparing them as riders but when Josh came to us he was in a similar position to when Joe came.

“They’d both had tough times elsewhere but they came to Owlerton to get some stability.

“And that stability got the best out of them.

“Josh improved year on year for us and I think that Joe will do exactly the same, he’s got so much ability. He’s not a double British Under-21 Champion for no reason.”

Hoggart says Tigers are determined to bounce back from a poor season – both on and off the track.

“It’s a big challenge for us now to take this club forward after all the setbacks we have suffered this season,” he said.

“Hopefully the signing of Joe is just the first part of the jigsaw which will see this great club bounce back.”