Barnsley teenager Josh Bates last night had a double celebration after securing a new deal with Sheffield and winning the club’s Rider of the Rear award.
Bates, a firm favourite with the Owlerton crowd, was a popular winner at the club’s end-of-season presentation at Hillsborough.
The ambitious teenager is looking to pick up where he left off when the 2016 campaign gets under way - and he says he is delighted to have committed to his local club for another year.
Bates said: “I’ve had a great couple of years at Sheffield and, after learning a lot in my first year, I managed to kick on to add two points to my average this year.
“I didn’t expect to do that well, to be honest, but things have come together really well and it’s been a brilliant season for me.
“It’s a great honour to be named Rider of the Year. I wasn’t expecting that at all so I’m over the moon.
“We’ve had an awesome team this year, so to win that award is something I’m really proud of and a brilliant way to wrap up the season.
“I know it’s going to be tough but I just want to keep that improvement going and build on that again next year. That’s the aim.
“I’m really pleased to be back at Sheffield. It’s a club with great people and I’m pleased they’ve had me back.
“It’s my local club, I love riding for Sheffield and I have a great relationship with the fans so I’m just happy to be staying for another year.
“Hopefully we can make next season even better as a team. We had a lot of injuries this season but still managed to make the play-offs, so fingers crossed we can have better luck and go all the way.
“I’d love to win the league with Sheffield. That’s the goal, and if I can put another point or two on my average that will go a long way to helping the team achieve that.”