||Last Updated: Feb 11th, 2016 - 17:31:52
Coventry Cycle Speedway club have signed a `Northern Powerhouse` trio of top rated riders as they continue to build a competitive squad ahead of the new Elite League season which starts in April.
The Hearsall Common based side have captured the services of free scoring Chris Parish, former British Junior champion Jake Read and heat leader Ben Higham. They have all signed on Elite League terms, which means they can race for Coventry in the Elite League and for their parent clubs in regional racing.
Parish, aged 27 years old, came agonizingly close to winning the British Final in 2014 at his home Bury track in Greater Manchester. He was one race away from a race-off for the title when an untimely exclusion put paid to his chances.
Capped by Great Britain last year, Parish has been one of the very top riders in the north of England for several seasons. Razor fast from the starting tapes, with a brilliant racing brain, he will find the speedy Hearsall Common track to his liking.
Parish said: “I have raced at Coventry a few years back. It’s a fantastic race track and the club work hard at promoting the sport. I am hoping to make the British Final podium sometime soon and racing Elite League for Coventry will help me in that ambition”.
Stockport based Read is another prized capture for Coventry. The 19-year-old won the British junior individual final in 2012 at the East Newport track in south Wales. He has been capped for Great Britain at junior level.
Read has outstanding all-round ability and is one of the most dedicated riders in the sport. He travelled from his Stockport home to the Sports Connexion (Ryton) for all the indoor practice sessions organized by the Coventry club this winter.
Joining Parish and Read in the Coventry Elite League colours this year will be Ben Higham.
Like Read, Higham also hails from Stockport and has been a top scoring heat leader for his home town club for several seasons.
The 22-year-old, the grandson of Derek Garnett, one of the sport’s greatest ever riders, is thrilled at the prospect of racing in the new Elite League era for Coventry.
He commented: “With the large Elite League squad we have I think there is a good chance of challenging for a top three position. It’s going to be an exciting season and I am looking forward to bringing my best regional league form to Elite league level”.
Summing-up their latest signings, club captain Myke Grimes said: “Elite League racing is another level and Chris, Jake and Ben are at that level. We welcome them to our colours. We continue to build our squad to be as competitive as possible”.
Coventry are also set to land their biggest signing of the winter next week. They are also closing in on a major team sponsorship deal worth in excess of five figures. The club are holding its AGM on Saturday 20th February at 6pm, at the Maudslay Public House, Allesley Old Road.
The 2016 Cycle Speedway Elite League season races into action at Hearsall Common on Sunday 3rd April, when Ipswich are the visitors. The event will be free admission to all spectators and Coventry are hoping to attract a big attendance to mark their entry to top tier racing.
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