Sheffield speedway: Troubled Josh given “time and space” by his track bosses

Josh Bates
Josh Bates
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Tigers bosses are standing by young talent Josh Bates as he battles with personal issues.

The Barnsley racer took to twitter to announce his retirement at 21 – the tweet has since been deleted – and he has sat down with club bosses to go through his problems.

It appears the club are keeping his team place open for now after announcing a new deal to keep him at the club just over a week ago.

Bates is a two-time British U21 Champion and is the nephew of Sheffield co-promoter Damien Bates.

In a club statement they said: “Josh has sat down with the club and explained the difficulties he is currently experiencing and he will be given the time and space he needs. He is, without doubt, a very popular rider and the club and Josh himself would like to offer their thanks for the messages of support he has received.”

Meanwhile Sheffield are still working on their next move to finalise team plans.

Fans are wondering why Kyle Howarth hasn’t been confirmed yet - there appears to be a stumbling block in talks with his parent club Workington.

Howarth is keen to return to Owlerton after leading Tigers to the Championship crown. Bates said: “I’m not prepared to say anything about Kyle because he isn’t our rider.”

He added: “We have various permutations we can work towards and because we’ve made good progress so far we’re not in any particular rush at this stage.”