Sheffield Tigers bosses insist they are doing all they can to fill the role left vacant by their missing reserve.
They were left in limbo last month when Jack Parkinson-Blackburn, 16, quit to take a step back from Championship racing. While temporary options are limited, manager Simon Stead has praised remaining reserve Rob Branford.
“It’s not easy for Rob” said Stead. “But full credit to him he hasn’t complained he’s just got his head down, got on with his own job and has been desperate to do well for both himself and for the team.
“I can’t praise him enough because there’s a lot of pressure on his shoulders and he knows we need that little bit extra from him. He’s putting the extra yards in to make sure he’s as prepared as possible and he’s starting to reap the rewards.
“With no disrespect to any of the guests that we’ve used, because it’s probably at a whole new level to what they’re used to, but we’ve effectively been racing as a six man team for nearly a month. Everyone has upped their game but we know we need to try and sort something if we can to relieve pressure for them.”
Promoter Damien Bates has revealed the frustrating process he’s endured in trying to secure a new signature.
“To be honest, the decision Jack made is still quite difficult for us to take and understand” he admitted.
“We thought that whole situation fitted perfectly but that’s why we can’t afford to rush into anything this time around – we need to make sure we get the right rider.
“We have spoken to a few but for some reason they’re just not interested or enthusiastic enough about joining.
“Whether they’re worried about making the step up or whether they’re being paid too much to settle in the National League I don’t know, but we will keep trying and hopefully something will work out pretty soon.”
Tigers host Redcar at Owlerton on Thursday (7.30).