||Last Updated: Jan 15th, 2016 - 13:25:01
Coventry Cycle Speedway club have moved to begin building their Elite League squad for 2016 by signing talented Adam Watson from Sheffield. Watson is expected to be the first of a flurry of new riders announced by Coventry ahead of the new season which starts in March.
Based in Manchester, Watson joins Coventry on an Elite league `licence`, which allows riders to ride for a higher tier Elite League club but retain affiliation for their original club. Watson is expected to become a key part of Coventry`s exciting new Elite league era at Hearsall Common.
Watson, whose sister Laura won the World Woman’s final in 2011, reached the World Junior final last year. He started his racing career at Manchester club Astley, before switching to Sheffield in 2010.
At 6 foot 4 inches high, Watson is one of the tallest riders in the sport. He is expected to be driven to his Coventry matches by his keen mother, Louise, who has accompanied Adam to racing commitments all over the UK in the past five years.
Adam Watson said: “I am devoted to reaching the very top in Cycle Speedway, so I must race at the top level. When Sheffield withdrew from the Elite League, Coventry were always my first choice. They have quickly become a major club in the sport again.
“I have been to Hearsall Common for some fantastically staged big events but never raced on the track. With its sweeping bends and wide straights, it suits my racing profile perfectly and I can`t wait for my Coventry debut”.
Coventry team manager Lee Marsh said: “We are delighted to have Adam onboard in our new Elite League squad. He`s totally committed and is not afraid to get really stuck-in on the all-important first corners in senior racing”.
The Coventry club are set to release a string of further signings, including an array of world class riders, in the next few weeks. The first Elite League match at Hearsall Common is expected to be on Sunday 3rd April with Ipswich as the visitors.
60s STAR ROB HARDIE RETURNS TO CYCLE SPEEDWAY
Former Coventry and District Cycle Speedway star Rob Hardie has been appointed the new Track Manager at fledgling club Brandon Bees. The club is based at the old Bretford Bulldogs club in the Warwickshire countryside village of Bretford.
Hardie, a Cycle Speedway teammate of ex Coventry Bees stars John Harrhy and Frank Smith in the 1960s, has been busy since the end of last season weed killing, cutting grass and doing routine maintenance work at the picturesque venue. He has spent two half days at the track since Christmas.
Brandon Bees, who originally raced in the Coventry Speedway stadium carpark, were revived in 2015 to keep racing afloat at the track. They competed in the Midland League division 2, using mainly Coventry registered riders.
However, superbly offering new and extra racing opportunities, the Brandon Bees also tempted former riders like ex World Champion Ray Oliver, Mick Docker, Ashley Pointer and Liam McGuire back into racing.
It was Oliver`s first racing for 14 years, Docker`s first for 13 and Pointers first appearance for eight years. In all, Brandon fielded an amazing 24 riders – the most of any Midland team in any league last year.
It is anticipated that Brandon will become part of the Coventry club in 2016, as the club look to help the sport retain a precious racing facility, although this will need to be ratified by the upcoming Coventry AGM. Brandon are expected to run as a Midland League division 3 team in 2016.
Hardie is the father of ex Coventry junior Sam, who retired in 2005. Rob Hardie has no position with Coventry CSC and this appointment is seen as a vital move to help Brandon become a self-sustaining club eventually.
“Having raced in the Coventry League in the in the boom era of the 1960s with as many as 12 teams, I was only too keen to assist, with others, to help expand the sport in the area in the present day”.
Brandon are hoping to get British Cycling involved at a coaching and development level in 2016 should they obtain coaching accreditation. Local rider Kyle Roberts, who lives in the village, and who did much to help reinstate the overgrown track for the 2015 season, is expected to use the track for training and assist any coaching initiatives.
Brandon officials are looking for Coventry Bees Speedway fans, and community spirited residents of Bretford, Brandon and surrounding villages, to step forward and assist in running the club and in staging matches on race days.
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