Leicester trip starts new season for Eastbourne speedway aces

Eastbourne Speedway’s second team, the Seagulls, will be the club’s first side into competitive action when they race at Leicester on Wednesday.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 9:30 am
Updated Monday, 17th May 2021, 9:32 am
Connor King is in the Seagulls side for the opening match at Leicester / Picture: Mike Hinves

The match brings together the National Development League’s champions from the last two years of the competition – Leicester in 2019 and Eastbourne in 2018. There was no competition last season in the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both teams are greatly changed from the title-winning sides but this will be an early test of strength in a revamped league for what is in effect both club’s ‘feeder’ teams.

Seagulls team manager Will Pottinger said: “There’s no reason why we cannot do well this year and challenge for the title. We will be very focussed at Leicester on getting a result.”

Meanwhile, Eastbourne Speedway co-promoter, Lee Kilby, has explained why Danno Verge has been released.

He said: “Releasing Danno from the Seagulls squad was a tough call for us to make. Initially, we thought a squad system would be given the green light in the NDL and Danno was announced as a part of that squad in our press release at the end of March.

"But a number of weeks ago we learned that the squad option was no longer coming to fruition and sadly eight into seven just doesn’t go and Danno unfortunately is the rider to miss out. It’s absolutely no reflection on Danno as a person or as a rider.

“When I called him and informed him of the news, he was obviously disappointed, but it was a very honest and upfront conversation which he appreciated, and he ended the call by wishing us well for the season which I think sums him up his character very well.

“The delayed decision was simply a case of a clarification of a change of the rules; and then of averages and making the team as strong as we could; with the riders available to us. We had also been aware of interest in Danno elsewhere in the sport so we don’t anticipate he’ll be waiting long to get back on track. We wish Danno all the very best for 2021 and beyond.”

Teams for Leicester:

Eastbourne Seagulls: Jake Knight, Connor King, Chad Wirtzfeld, Richard Andrews, Henry Atkins, Nick Laurence, Nathan Ablitt

Leicester Cubs: Joe Lawlor, R.R (for Jamie Halder), Joe Thompson. Tom Spencer, Dan Thompson, Kai Ward, James Chattin