Speedway: Sheffield skipper Simon Stead keen to get Tigers back on track

Simon Stead Sheffield Tigers 2016
Simon Stead Sheffield Tigers 2016
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Sheffield skipper Simon Stead is desperate to get their season back on track against former club Peterborough at Owlerton tonight (7.30).

Stead started his career at the East of England Showground in the late 1990s before earning a deal with hometown club Sheffield.

He has since gone on to become one of the Tigers’ greatest ever riders and is now bidding to lead them to Premier League glory for the first time since 2002.

They recently suffered their biggest setback of the season so far with a crushing Knockout Cup defeat against Newcastle – but Stead has called on them to bounce back with victory in a crucial clash in the Premier League play-off battle.

“I’ve got some great memories of riding for Peterborough, and it’s where I earned my first professional contract,” said Stead.

“I’m a Sheffield rider now though, and we’ll be going for the win against them after a pretty disappointing few weeks.

“Things didn’t work out for us in the Cup, and we were disappointed with the performances against Newcastle both home and away.

“We’ve got to draw a line under that now though and do our best to make sure we get three more Premier League points at home in what will be a pretty tough meeting.”

Tigers bosses are hoping to see a big crowd to kick-off the Speedway World Cup weekend, with the National Speedway Stadium in Manchester hosting the race-off and final of the showpiece event on Friday and Saturday respectively.

Great Britain star Craig Cook will warm up for Saturday’s final by leading Peterborough into battle at Owlerton just a few days after being named in Great Britain’s starting quartet.

Stead, who has made 11 appearances for Great Britain over the years, has wished Alun Rossiter’s side all the best as they battle for their first medal since 2006.

He added: “The World Cup is something I’ve been involved with in the past, and I’ve enjoyed some great times in a Great Britain race jacket.

“Although I’m not involved this year, it goes without saying that I’m wishing the boys all the best and I hope they get a good result.

“I think Rosco has picked the right team this year, there is a nice mixture of riders including the current World Champion, and I think everyone in the team has shown they are ready to do their bit.”

SHEFFIELD: Simon Stead, Dimitri Berge, Josh Bates, Jason Garrity R/R, Kyle Howarth, Arthur Sissis, Nathan Greaves.

PETERBOROUGH: Craig Cook, Tom Perry, Ulrich Ostergaard, Emil Grondal, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen, Ashley Morris, Zdenek Holub.