Ashworth counts cost of foreign riders

editorial image

Ricky Ashworth may have to go back into the ‘real world’ next season and get a day job.

The 29-year-old Sheffield Tigers star has become increasingly frustrated over what he sees as a lack of support for British riders.

He says he has never been given a fair chance when doubling up with the Elite League and more should be done to give the British boys a greater opportunity.

Ashworth said: “When I look at the riders who have been given a chance doubling-up in the Elite League it annoys me. It’s almost like the promoters persevere with some of the foreign lads more then they do with us British riders.

“I only did three meetings for Belle Vue last season and I don’t think I’ve ever really had a fair chance at that level although I’ve beaten some good riders.

“August has been a write-off for me. I’ve just been killing time in the workshop and that means I’ve been earning no money and I just feel frustrated by it all.

“If this happens again next season I will need to be looking at the possibility of getting a job during the day because speedway can’t pay when you’re not riding.

“I hate sitting around with no speedway during the height of the season and to have so few meetings in the month of August is a joke to be honest.

“It means we’re going to be more and more busy as the nights get darker and the weather gets colder and more unpredictable but during August and the school holiday’s we’ve hardly had anything.

“The Premier League fixture list needs to be looked at closely by the promoters because I’m not the only rider in our team saying this.

“Now I’m looking forward to September. I’ve been spending time in the workshop making sure everything is in place and ready to go because we have so many meetings and I want to be on top form.”

Sheffield face Plymouth Devils in a Premier League clash at Owlerton tonight and they will be a very different team to the one Tigers thrashed back in June. Their No1 is England international Ben Barker while Dane Jesper Kristiansen is a lightening starter and will be in the points along with American Ricky Wells who had several guest bookings at Owlerton last year.

Tigers: Josh Auty 8.20, Hugh Skidmore 5.81, Ricky Ashworth 8.14, Emiliano Sanchez 6.06, Shane Parker 8.19, Simon Lambert 4.98, Ashley Birks 3.59

Ipswich are next Thursday’s visitors to Owlerton and by then Sheffield’s representative for the Premier League Riders’ Championship will be confirmed with Shane Parker the favourite to edge out Josh Auty, although Auty may just get in as a second Tigers rider.