NEW signing Dan Greenwood is determined to make the most of his shot at the Elite League despite admitting he would rather be doing so in happier circumstances.

The teenager has been drafted into the Robins side as a replacement for Darryl Ritchings who remains in hospital after suffering head injuries in a crash on Thursday night, and will partner Steve Worrall at reserve for the first time at Belle Vue tonight.

Greenwood entered the National League Riders draft but wasn’t initially picked up by any of the 10 Elite League teams but, although he has now been given his chance, he would rather be doing so in happier circumstances.

“I’m really happy to have this chance although I obviously wish it had happened in different circumstances because I’ve known Darryl a long time and I wish him all the best in his recovery,” he said.

“Darryl and I sort of grew up together through the grasstrack route and we rode together at Cradley (then Dudley) the year before last and I really hope he makes a full recovery because he’s a lovely guy.

“This is a big chance for me now because when I came back to speedway after a bit of a break I had a three year plan. This is only my third year racing and at this point I wanted to be a heat leader in the National League so to be the Elite League is brilliant.

“I took the time out because it was causing a bit of a strain on my family but I’ve come back with more passion.

“My dad was paying for everything back then but I went away, got a job, and earned enough money to get back and buy the bikes for myself so it is really nice to be doing this off my own back.”

Greenwood has spent some time on the Blunsdon circuit during the early days on a motorbike but admitted the Kirkmanshulme Lane circuit at which he will make his debut is a little more unfamiliar.

“I used to race around Swindon on a 125cc when I was younger , although I haven’t been there for a while, but I hope it won’t take long to get back into it,” he said.

“Belle Vue isn’t a track I’m very familiar with but they’re all there to be ridden so hopefully I can make a quick impression.”

Robins boss Alun Rossiter is keen not to put too much pressure on the youngster but believes he has what it takes to succeed.

“Dan was one we looked at before we decided to give Darryl a team spot and we know he is a good young rider. Given time and a bit of patience he can be a good performer for the club.”