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A Matter of Opinion....Mick Ibbotson....29/07/2002

Mick is a long time fan of the Sheffield Tigers

Simon Stead is one of the hottest prospects in World Speedway - how do you see his career progressing over the next three years?

Hopefully upwards and onwards, problem is (personal opinion), Simon is beginning to believe what people write about him and he's having to up the ante to live up to the hype - whether that is the reason for the number of injuries he's suffered this year is anyone's guess. If he could remember to gate, he'd be devastating. At Owlerton, he doesn't need to be that keen from the gate as he can pass anyone on the track but away on tracks which don't offer the opportunities its a different matter. Within three seasons you would expect to see him in the Grand Prix. Whether he'd be good enough to be World Champion is another matter. We shall see.

Would you like Sheffield to apply for Elite League membership?

No, Sheffield are managing quite nicely as a Premier League outfit and why run the risk of losing it just for the opportunity of running in the 'top'? league. The Elite league is dead, same teams, same league positions. It wouldn't have took 'Mystic Meg' to predict Kings Lynn, Ipswich and Belle Vue to be propping up the table. I'd personally like to see Belle Vue drop into the PL and actually perform - it must be a nightmare for their long suffering fans.

Sheffield imported many 'dodgy' European riders during the early to mid-nineties. Which one was the worst and why?

Rob Stemen was definitely the worst. I could have got round quicker on a push bike. He was obviously cheap and cheerful but not up to it at all. Now the conference side is going great guns we can employ our own youngsters and the need to import other countries rubbish is no more.

Is the new method of drawing gate positions in the later heats of the Grand Prix fair?

It's as fair as you can expect. It would be easy to say otherwise but you need consider who's pulling the strings.

Who do you fancy to win this year's Premier League?

Sheffield obviously, but it would be nice for someone different to do a bit. As it looks to be panning out, Sheffield should win it by a country mile although I'm sure other sides will have their say along the way.


This article was first published prior to October 2002

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