2023 was the year that the Tigers finally managed to lift the Sports Insure Premiership trophy after coming so close the year before.
Defending their title will not be easy, with some impressive line ups coming to the tapes in 2024, but the Sheffield promotion have managed to assemble a scary looking team for the new season.
The Tigers have retained 6 of the riders who led them to glory in 2023; Tai Woffinden, Chris Holder, Kyle Howarth, Josh Pickering, Jason Edwards and Jack Holder, though Holder was replaced by Woffinden as a result of injury late in the season.
GP stars Jack Holder and Tai Woffinden from the Tigers' top 2 and both are world class performers. Holder can be a real contender for this year's world title and Woffinden has already lifted the title three times - only Ipswich and Belle Vue have a top two to match them.
Jack's elder brother Chris is also an ex-World Champion and although he isn't quite at that level anymore, he is still a world class rider and another big signing. Having riders of his calibre racing regularly in the UK is brilliant for British Speedway and he completes a powerful Tigers heat leader trio.
With a top three as strong as Sheffield have, you would expect their second strings to be relatively weak. That's definitely not the case though! Josh Pickering and Kyle Howarth complete the Tigers' top 5 and both are gutsy riders who are very capable performers at this level.
Aussie Pickering is one of the most spectacular and entertaining riders in British Speedway - he is a rider on the up, but an injury ridden campaign in 2023 hampered his progress a little. He is not the quickest away from the tapes, but makes up for that with his courage and determination on track.
Brit Howarth has spent several seasons with Sheffield and knows the quickest way around the Owlerton circuit. He is another hard and determined character who has a never-say-die attitude, but can be a little erratic at times.
Sheffield's reserves come in the form of young Brits Jason Edwards and Dan Gilkes. Though both are bright prospects, they are one of the least experienced, and on paper, weaker reserve pairings of the 2024 Sports Insure Premiership.
Edwards put in some good performances for the Tigers after coming into their side late last year and has made steady progress over the last 2 seasons. Gilkes takes on the Tigers' Rising Star position and although the youngster's short career to date has been hampered by some horrific injuries, he can go very far with a little more luck in the future.
The Sheffield promotion have assembled an impressive team to defend their 2023 league title. They have have a scarily strong top 5 with a wealth of talent and experience, but look a little weaker at reserve than some other Premiership sides. On paper, this is the team to beat and we expect that many people will have the Tigers ranked as favourites in 2024.
TIGERS LINE UP FOR 2024:
Dan Gilkes (RS)