Josh upbeat despite Elite League exit
5:30am Wednesday 22nd January 2014 in By Andy Warren, Deputy sports editor, firstname.lastname@example.org, @AndyWarren_
JOSH Bates accepts his move away from the Elite League could do his career good in the long run.
The Yorkshireman was drafted by Swindon as part of the BSPA’s plan to introduce more young Brits into the Elite League, but has now been allowed to join local club Sheffield for 2014.
Bates is disappointed to now not have the chance to share a pit with the likes of Troy Batchelor and Peter Kildemand but believes he will actually face a sterner test by riding in the second tier.
“It’s obviously a shame I won’t be riding in the Elite League but I do think this move could work out to be the best for me,” he told the Advertiser.
“In the Elite League I would have been mainly riding against National League riders whereas in the Premier League I will be up against some riders with more quality. It will be harder for me and will allow me to develop.
“The Elite League may have been easier money for me and a big opportunity but Premier League with Sheffield is a better chance for me to develop as a rider. It’s only 15 minutes up the road and it’s great to be at Sheffield. Alun (Rossiter) has been brilliant about all this and he has really helped me.
“It would have been a three-hour journey for me to Swindon so to not have that travelling every week will help me too.
“Maybe next year I can have a go in the Elite League again and if anybody gets injured maybe I will get a chance to do a few meetings this season. I can jump in as a reserve and that would be great.”
Former Great Britain rider Joe Screen has been named as the new Sheffield team manager today and is excited about the prospect of having Bates in his side.
“I think I can offer some help to Josh, the boy has got some talent on a bike," he said.
“I know him and he's a good signing for the club. I'm pleased with the way the team is coming together, I'm sure we can have a good season.”