NEWCASTLE Diamonds have completed their line-up for the 2010 season with the surprise signing of 18-year-old Australian Dakota North.
North, of Shepparton, Victoria, has had a brief flirtation with British Speedway in the colours of the National League’s Mildenhall Fen Tigers last season, as well as earlier guest bookings for the third divisional teams at Oxford and Rye House.
The son of former 1970s Stoke Potter favourite Rod North, Dakota – so named after his father’s apparent love of aeroplanes – comes into the Diamonds squad on a very handy 3.00 average courtesy of his British-based lineage and his UK passport placing him at reserve for Newcastle.
North, keen to get 2010 under way, said: “2010 will be a big season for me and I’m delighted to be settling at Newcastle for my first Premier League break, especially as my fellow Aussie Mark Lemon is up there.
“He will be a great help to have in the pits with his massive knowledge and experience, a rider I am really looking forward to working with.”
Newcastle co-promoter Darryl Illingworth was equally enthusiastic, saying: “Dakota comes to us after a lot of work.
“We must thank Peterborough Panthers and their management for their excellent efforts, as we did when Rene Bach came to us last season. The lad is backed by Swindon’s Leigh Adams, the hugely experienced former Grand Prix rider, who has guided and advised him with the best background possible and has learned a lot as part of Adams’ pit crew.
“He was the Australian Under-16 Champion in 2007, and took the Australian Junior Pairs title with Justin Sedgmen and has, Down Under, taken the scalp of one Darcy Ward during their junior battles over the years.
“While we realise a talent the likes of Ward is a rare thing, we have hopes that Dakota will certainly make a solid mark in our league with some good performances come next season.”
DIAMONDS 2010 LINE-UP: Dakota North, Mark Lemon, Jason King, Adam McKinna, Derek Sneddon, Rene Bach and Kenni Larsen.