Ashworth hints at Tigers exit

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TIGERS stalwart Ricky Ashworth has dubbed 2011 a “wasted season” and warned that he may have to consider his future in the sport.

Ashworth has been with Sheffield for 10 years, but has now revealed that he needs to ride in more than one league if he is to make his career pay.

He said: “I really am looking at insisting that I’m riding in more than one league next season or I will have to sit down and consider my future.

“It’s been a financial disaster for me this year; I’m having massive gaps between racing and just not getting the meetings in. If you are riding regularly you get in the zone and the points flow, but if not it makes everything harder.

“This year I’ve been at home watching the Elite League on Sky and I look at some of the riders and wonder what I have to do to get a spot. It’s frustrating.”

The Salford-born man, 29, has thought about trying to tap into the lucrative European leagues but knows how difficult that can be.

He said: “It’s a lot of hard work to get in to Poland and the opportunities are very, very slim unless you’re young. It’s almost impossible to break in.

“I’ve been offered a job for the winter working at Track Plus Engineering and I’ve got my own little ideas regarding the fairings on the bikes that I want to get stuck in to so I’ve got options, but I obviously don’t want to have to think about that.

“I love it at Sheffield, but I need more time on the bike.”

Ashworth faces a late fitness test before Sheffield’s closing Premier League meeting of the season at Ipswich tomorrow.