Glasgow Tigers have moved to sign exciting British talent Jack Smith as one of their reserves for 2017 - adding him to their growing asset base.
The 17-year-old, who has just capped off his first season in speedway with a National League title at Birmingham, joins the Tigers on a two-point average. He has excellent speedway pedigree, as the son of Andy Smith - the former world No 5 and three-time British Champion.
Smith, from Stoke, was highly sought-after following a storming end to the 2016 campaign - including a paid 17-point haul for Birmingham at Belle Vue in October, when he beat several of the league’s top riders.
The teenager, who’s currently in Australia for a winter break, said today that joining the Tigers was the biggest moment of his speedway life.
He said: “I’ve achieved a fair bit in my short career so far, but to sign for such a big club as Glasgow and as an asset, it’s definitely a moment I will never forget.
“As well as it being only my first season in British speedway in 2016, I’m really happy with the amount of interest the club has had in me.
“When the club invited me and dad up for a look around towards the end of the season, we were really impressed with how they run the speedway in Glasgow and Scotland.”
“It was very professional and I’d say more professional than the teams in England, with how much they make their team stand out - it shows their passion to want to be the best.
“It also shows with how many top riders want to be at the club. Everything attracted me to wanting to be a part of their 2017 campaign.”
Smith only started riding speedway bikes at the age of 13 in Perth, Australia, where he lived at the time.
He took his first steps in the sport at the 147-metre track at Pinjar Park, built by the late Rob Woffinden for son Tai - the now two-time World Champion - to practice on.
Smith won state titles in the lower engine classes before competing at the same level in Europe. He learned how to ride at 500cc Down Under when he turned 16, before travelling to Poland to practice at the beginning of 2015.
In that same year he did seven meetings for Birmingham as a guest, and was then a full Brummies signing for 2016.
He’s now back in Australia for practice ahead of the new campaign, and is already eyeing significant improvement in the SGB Championship for the Tigers.
He said: “My preparations in Australia are going well - I’m out every second day to get fit and ready for the new season.
“My goal for next season is to achieve as much as last year. I want to achieve a five or six-point average for Glasgow - anything better, I’ll be more than happy with.
“I want to be a part of the U21 Great Britain team again, and I also want to finish in the top three or better in the U21 and U19 British Championships.
“In addition I want to get the No 1 role in my National League team, whoever that may be.”
Smith joins heatleaders Aaron Summers, Richie Worrall and Richard Lawson in the Tigers line-up so far.