The new 2014 speedway season starts tonight at the Workington Comets Derwent Park Stadium with a visit from the Newcastle Sapphire Engineering Diamonds (7.00pm).
The two sides compete in the second annual two-legged event for the Ian Thomas Shield – with the deciding leg at Brough Park tomorrow at 6.30pm - in memory of the late legendary speedway promoter Ian Thomas, who led both Workington and Newcastle in his time to success. The Diamonds line up with six of last season’s seven riders, maximising their team spirit and continuity.
They welcome Lewis Rose into their reserve birth from King’s Lynn in the hope they have again discovered a burgeoning British talent in the tracks of Richie Worrall (now with Ipswich) and Lewis Kerr, both of whom developed a huge ability in Newcastle’s colours.
Newcastle team manager George English said: “It may be an early-season challenge, but Ian Thomas meant an awful lot to the speedway people of both Newcastle and Workington, so it’s seen as a massive achievement to win a trophy named after him.
“Last week we had a superb practice session to get rid of the winter cobwebs and all the lads were looking sharp for this early in the year.
“Our skipper Stuart Robson has gone on record as saying he believes this side is good enough for honours and will be inspiring the lads to hopefully start by lifting the silverware tomorrow night. We have a solid side from one to seven, led at number one by Ludvig Lindgren, but when you look at the class of talent we have in Christian Henry, Anton Rosen and Chris Schramm Stuart may be right on the money in his beliefs.”
Workington Comets: Josh Grajczonek, Rene Bach, Ricky Wells, Kyle Howarth, Mason Campton, Ashley Morris, Chris Mills.
Newcastle Diamonds: Ludvig Lindgren, Stuart Robson, Christian Henry, Anton Rosen, Lewis Kerr, Chris Schramm, Lewis Rose.