GRAJCZONEK TO MISS EUROPEAN SEASON?
Sheffield could be forced into a change before the SGB Premiership gets underway as doubts grow over Josh Grajczonek's return to Europe.
25 / 06 / 2020, 10:25
Sheffield Tigers have confirmed they could be forced into a change before the SGB Premiership gets underway as doubts grow over Josh Grajczonek’s return to Europe.
British clubs hope to launch their season in August subject to getting the green light from the government as social distancing measures to slow the spread of coronavirus are lifted. But there are reports some Aussies may opt to remain Down Under for the rest of 2020.
Tigers did not confirm the name of the rider they may need to replace, insisting only that triple world champion Nicki Pedersen remains on board.
We might need one team change, we’re discussing that now. I’m not prepared to go into any further detail at this stage because it’s far from certain, but we may just need to do it.
But Grajczonek’s Polish side Bydgoszcz has admitted the PZM-licensed star may opt to continue his mining job in Australia rather than return to Europe and race for reduced money in the Polish First Division.
Speaking to Sportowefakty.pl, club president Jerzy Kanclerz said: “He works in a mine and he earns well. It is not known if it will pay off to come back.
“However, I have no grudge against him. He earns well and he could only get 1,000 PLN per point because due to the coronavirus and its impact on the economy, rates have decreased.
“When Josh could combine driving in Poland with England, it all tied together and balanced. He lived in Britain, earned a living there and he came to us for the weekend. Now this whole situation is in question, and the cash register is not the same.”
Sheffield boss Damien Bates admitted one new signing may be necessary before the season starts at Owlerton, but he remains confident star signing Pedersen will still line up in Yorkshire this year.
He said: “We might need one team change, we’re discussing that now. I’m not prepared to go into any further detail at this stage because it’s far from certain, but we may just need to do it.
“We have a Plan B in place already but Nicki Pedersen is still on board. Our manager Simon Stead has been in regular contact with the riders and Nicki is keen to get over.
“It’s an ambition of the owners to see Nicki riding in Sheffield colours around Owlerton. We all worked hard to make it happen and we want to see it.”