Super skipper Kyle Howarth insists he’s ready to take over the No.1 spot at Sheffield Tigers.
Howarth, 24, will follow in the footsteps of club legends such as Simon Stead, Sean Wilson and Andre Compton when he lines up in the coveted position for the first time in Thursday’s season-opener at home to Newcastle (7.30pm).
But after two outstanding seasons at Owlerton, Howarth believes he’s ready to lead them into the Championship campaign.
“It’s a big step for me to become No.1, but I think I need it, I need that push,” Howarth said.
“You always get that bit of added pressure as No.1. You want to win that first race and do your job as the top guy in the team.
“But I’ll just take it meeting-by-meeting, I’ll try and use the pressure as a positive to motivate me and do my best.
“I’m lucky we’ve got a strong side with plenty of riders who can win races, that should help take the pressure off as well.
“But I’m at that stage of my career where I need to kick-on and make that No.1 spot my own. I believe I’m ready for it, so we’ll just knuckle down and see how it goes.
“It’s great for me to have a stable setup.
“I’ve been with Sheffield for the last two years, so it’s nice to be back.
“I know what they’re about, I know the people and I know the tracks.
“I won’t have to take any time to adjust to any new surroundings, so that can only be a good thing.
“If things are working well like they have the last two years then there is no need to change it, and I’m pleased I’ve had the chance to stay with them.
“I’ve improved a fair bit the last two years and we’ve had two solid years together, but it’s a new year now and I need to focus on making sure I keep moving forwards this year.
“I’m excited to get started, and after two solid years I want to keep it going.”