Simon Stead is backing Kyle Howarth to rise to the challenge of leading Sheffield.
Howarth starts the season top of the Tigers’ averages and is determined to stay there.
Boss Stead, who leads his side into action for the first time this season against Newcastle at Owlerton on Thursday, has heaped praise on his top man.
“Kyle is a great lad and contributed massively to our league title last season,” he said. “He’s good for team spirit and that’s vital. Whenever times got a little bit tough Kyle was always there with a smile and plenty of determination.
“He’s going to have to step it up a level this season because of being No.1 but I’ve got every faith in him. On his day he’s capable of beating anybody around Owlerton – and away from home. He’s making good progress as a rider and if he can continue to do that then he’ll have no problem becoming an established No.1 in the Championship.”
Stead is pleased with the way his team is shaping up. “It’s been a long winter and we can’t wait to get going now” he said. “The lads looked good in team practice, but then again everyone says that when they’re not racing competitively!
“It would be nice to start the season with a win and a big crowd to show their support for the lads.
“It’s going to be tough to match what we achieved last season, but all the lads are up for the challenge.”
Stead said the newcomers Charles Wright and Jack Smith were “really excited about being here.
“We won’t underestimate Newcastle, some people don’t rate them but they can spring a surprise or two and we have to show them the respect they deserve.”