Speedway: Highly-rated Zaine Kennedy zooms in to join Sheffield Tigers

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Sheffield have swooped for exciting Australian prospect Zaine Kennedy for next season – beating rival clubs to his signature.

Kennedy has impressed in after-match laps at Owlerton this season and becomes the first name on the 2019 team sheet.

Club co-owner Damien Bates said: “Regardless of the rules and regulations we will need riders like Zaine and it’s a good move for the club.

“As things stand we will be riding at this level of the sport next season, even if we went into a higher division Zaine will be more than capable.

“He will ride at our current level on a 5.20 average and we have a new, exciting Australian rider who becomes a club asset and I’m genuinely excited. We can’t just keep borrowing riders from other clubs, paying loan fees, we need assets and we are still building for the future here at Sheffield.

“He’s had interest from other clubs but he’s delighted to join Sheffield. He’s not going to come in and be the next Darcy Ward, there are no mega expectations but he’ll be popular with fans because he has an all-action style. We’ve been impressed by him riding at Sheffield after meetings and in our Top Gun meeting earlier this season so we’re delighted to have him on board.”

Tigers were held to a 45-45 draw by Edinburgh in a rain delayed meeting at Owlerton. The meeting was in the balance after a track inspection but referee Phil Griffin gave the thumbs-up with fans in the stadium.