Monday November 20, 2023
SHEFFIELD have completed their side for 2024 with the return of British youngsters Jason Edwards and Dan Gilkes.

The pair are back as the Tru Plant Tigers’ reserve duo having both been the club’s Rising Star in 2023.

Gilkes made significant progress in the role during his maiden top flight campaign before sustaining a broken wrist in the away trip to Peterborough in August.

He was replaced by Edwards who settled into his new surroundings quickly before scoring some vital points in the Grand Final as Sheffield won the Sports Insure Premiership.

Tigers’ team manager Simon Stead, who is also Great Britain’s international co-boss, is delighted to have the two homegrown youngsters back at reserve and feels they will both have learnt plenty from their experiences this term.

“Both Dan and Jason are two cracking young lads and they both became an instant hit with the Sheffield supporters this season,” Stead said.

“Dan hit the ground running and I was very impressed with how well he adapted to racing at that level.

“He did a sterling job before he got injured - but his attitude and his focus is absolutely wonderful and both on and off track he is consistently doing the right things to better his all-round game.

“There was never any doubt in my mind that he would be back as our Rising Star next season and I’m really excited to see how he can kick on.

“As for Jason I thought he did superbly under the circumstances and he proved to be a great replacement for Dan.

“Sheffield was new to him when he signed for us but he really enjoyed himself at the club and was riding with a smile on his face.

“He deserves his team place next year because he was fantastic at the sharp end of the year and he scored some really important points in the play-offs.

“I think Dan and Jason will enjoy a healthy rivalry riding alongside each other at No.6 and No.7 for Sheffield and with what they’ll learn from the rest of the team as well as what they’ve already got in their own lockers, I really do think they can help push each other on.

“I’m really pleased to include two young Brits at reserve and I’m sure everyone else will feel the same as me when I say I’m really looking forward to watching them continue to improve whilst wearing the Sheffield race suit.“

Edwards and Gilkes will be joined by Jack and Chris Holder, Tai Woffinden, Kyle Howarth and Josh Pickering as Sheffield name seven riders who represented the club on their way to league glory in 2023.

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