Sheffield speedway: frustration for Paco

Paco Castagna has to wait for his Sheffield Tigers debut
Paco Castagna has to wait for his Sheffield Tigers debut

Paco Castagna’s British debut for Sheffield has been delayed by a week.

The new Italian signing has faced an issue over his equipment reaching the UK in time for tomorrow’s League Cup Semi-Final tie with Glasgow at Owlerton. It means Sheffield have reverted back to the declared 1-7 from last week – but they have been forced to call on two guests and the rider replacement facility.

Brilliant Brady Kurtz covers for Simon Stead, Berwick’s Thomas Jorgensen comes in for Andre Compton who has a broken wrist and Ashley Birks’ four programmed rides will be shared around the team.

Sheffield co-promoter Damien Bates said: “Paco is gutted about it because he was so excited when we announced his signing, but he’ll now make his debut against Cradley next Thursday. I feel for the lad but it may prove to be a blessing in disguise because we are up against a powerhouse Glasgow side and it would have been a baptism of fire for him.

“Having said that, we’re looking forward to seeing him against Cradley and hopefully he can score loads of points that night to start in a positive way. Brady Kurtz is a popular choice of guest. I seem to have been spending all my time looking at guest riders this season and it’s difficult to get it right all the time, but we’ve done pretty well so far.

“Thomas Jorgensen is a talented rider who can do a good job to replace Andre.”

With Compton facing a spell on the sidelines Bates admits he is looking at a potential new signing. He said: “We have a plan which may work for us, particularly if Andre is ruled out for the rest of the season.

“If the opportunity arises to sign a new rider then we will – just as we have done with Paco for Ashley Birks.

“It’s amazing the amount of riders who have been in touch and want to ride for Sheffield, whether it be as a guest or to consider for next year. We’re doing something right.”