Joe Screen wants to see his Sheffield side hit the ground running – starting in tonight’s big individual event to launch a new era at Owlerton (7.45).
Stars from both the Elite and Premier League will flex their muscles at the Air Fence Fund Bonanza with a bumper crowd expected for the first meeting under new management.
Wolverhampton’s Ty Proctor, who is based in Sheffield, is included along with King’s Lynn’s reigning Elite Riders’ Champion Rory Schlein, Leicester’s Patrick Hougaard and Eastbourne’s Cameron Woodward.
The full Tigers team will also be in action ahead of their League Cup opener at Scunthorpe on Sunday.
New boss Screen said: “We want to hit the ground running. The lads have been to Scunthorpe and Northside and then we had a behind-closed-doors session at Owlerton last week when they looked sharp.
“With my experience that’s what I’ve tried to bring in; I’ve always been ready for the season and I want Sheffield to be the same.
“My season’s always started well because I was riding where I could from the New Year onwards... and then it went downhill from there,” he laughed.
The appearance of 53-year-old former world champion Sam Ermolenko has caught the imagination of supporters – and Screen recalls many of the battles he had with the Californian.
“Sam was an amazing rider and thoroughly deserved to win the world title,” said Screen.
“He was a showman as well and for him to still be doing some laps at his age is amazing. I’m sure he will try and put on a show.
“In fact, we’re organising a wheelie competition for the interval and it wouldn’t surprise me if Sam won it!”
Fans are urged to arrive early for the meeting with all profits going towards the cost of the new air fence which has been installed under new Speedway Control Bureau regulations at a cost in excess of £20,000.
Season ticket holders are entitled to a discount on admission and the club will also be launching a new match programme for the first time in over 20 years, replacing the old racecard. ST holders will also be entitled to a discount on club merchandise at the new-look club shop.
Tigers: Simon Stead, Ty Proctor, Josh Auty, Andre Compton, Ashley Birks, Leigh Lanham, Rory Schlein, Patrick Hougaard, Adam Roynon, Taylor Poole, Cameron Woodward, Sam Ermolenko.Reserve races: Josh Bates, Simon Nielsen, Dan Greenwood, James Sarjeant.