Sheffield Tigers: New boy Shanes happy to make long commute to Owlerton

New Sheffield Tigers signing James Shanes
New Sheffield Tigers signing James Shanes

James Shanes has revealed how he jumped at the chance to join Sheffield Tigers.

And the Dorset racer has no qualms about the long commute to South Yorkshire as he says Owlerton is one of his favourite tracks and can’t wait to make it his new home.

Shanes is the latest name to be confirmed on the Owlerton rosta for the defence of their Championship title.

He joins Lasse Bjerre, Josh Bates, Jack Smith and Charles Wright which means three new signings at the club as Bjerre and Bates survive from last season.

Said Shanes: “It’s a totally brilliant move for me to go to Sheffield.

“When I made a guest appearance for them they looked after me, they made me feel welcome and I thought there and then I would love to sign for them.

“Simon Stead as a recently retired rider is brilliant as a team manager. His advice was spot on and when someone like him speaks you have to listen because he was a fantastic rider.

“It’s a fair old journey for me every Thursday but that doesn’t phase me at all. Travelling is all part of being a professional rider and I can’t think of a better club to come to than Sheffield.”

Shanes knows it will be a tough job to love up to last season’s title glory.

“They set the bar last season and we have to try and do it again, but it’s going to be a tough ask,” he said.

“Looking down the team, we have a pretty solid appearance and I think we will take some stopping but then again there are other teams who look really powerful too.

“It’s going to be a big season for us all but we’ll give it our best and now everything is finalised for me to go to Sheffield I can’t wait for the season to start, it’s exciting for me.”

Shanes arrives at Owlerton on a 3.74 average which leaves Tigers with some scope for their final two signings.

Kyle Howarth, last year’s skipper, has gone on record saying he wants to return but much will depend on what his parent club Workington want to do.

Tigers have considered making a bid to purchase his contract but nothing has been agreed at this stage.