Speedway: All parties happy after Josh Bates leaves Sheffield Tigers

Josh Bates races inside Leicester's Cameron Heeps. Pic by Andy Garner
Josh Bates races inside Leicester's Cameron Heeps. Pic by Andy Garner

Tigers co-owner Marc Bates says leaving out his nephew Josh from Sheffield’s plans was an easy decision.

Josh has joined Leicester for the new season after a year out of the saddle and Marc insists it’s a good move for all parties.

It’s a big year for the Barnsley racer who is making his return to the sport after a year out with a back injury.

And Marc said: “Sheffield is Josh’s local club and he’s a popular figure with supporters, but I don’t think some time away from here will do him any harm.

“He won’t be so much under the spotlight as the local kid and it’s a good move for everyone concerned in my view.

“He’s working hard on his fitness and riding at Leicester means he’ll be alongside the great Scott Nicholls and under the wing of Stewart Dickson, their new promoter and manager who will do a fine job I’m sure.

“I just hope he doesn’t come back to Sheffield and rub our noses in it – but if he does then so be it, I believe we have a team here at Sheffield strong enough to beat anyone around Owlerton.

“From that point of view it was a relatively simple decision to make to allow Josh to leave Sheffield. He likes the people at Leicester as well and feels comfortable there, so he’s quite happy and so are we.”

Sheffield are moving their meetings to Sundays this year after the Premiership confirmed Thursdays were protected for their league.

And Marc Bates said: “We’ve had a lot of feedback saying it’s good for families to come along on a Sunday. The action should be all over by 7pm latest and people can be back home ready for Monday morning and whatever that brings, work or school.

“We have development work on the first turn to make Owlerton into the best venue the sport has to offer and it’s an exciting time for everyone at the club.”