Track Talk: Season ends with reasons to be cheerful
IT’S been quite a week for British Speedway with lots of positivity surrounding the sport.
Three things have happened which have made me feel good about things, while acknowledging the challenges the sport faces in this modern era.
So, let’s look at my reasons to be cheerful!
1. New TV deal. It was announced on Monday that Eurosport, part of the Discovery group, have signed a five-year deal to show British League racing and take over from BT Sport, although BT will retain the Grand Prix and Speedway of Nations for the next two seasons. It means the Premiership should be secure for five more seasons and the end is not actually nigh, as the critics will tell you.
I’ve known this deal has been on the table since June, so it’s really niggled me when reading about how the sport is finished in this country and there’s no future for it. Well, thanks to Eurposport, there is.
2. Sheffield promoted to the Premiership. I love this. Owlerton is a fantastic venue and a new £5m conference and banqueting suite has just been completed on the first turn.
The Tigers haven’t been in the top league in 30 years and I believe it’s where a club like that should be. I also know the club’s management already have a list of riders drawn up for them to speak to and a couple could surprise you. I’ll say no more.
3. Great Britain’s success against Denmark. The big guns like Madsen and Woffinden weren’t there, but an international challenge on Wednesday saw Olly Allen and Simon Stead start their time in charge of Great Britain with a win over Hans Nielsen’s Danes at King’s Lynn. Anders Rowe was tremendous and it underlines the fact that if the British youngsters are encouraged and supported in the right way we have a good future here as a nation.
So there you go. It’s not all doom and gloom, is it?
Monday night sees the last Monmore action of the year with the Golden Hammer, staged by Cradley.
Much talk is whether this will be Cradley’s last meeting before finally admitting defeat in finding a track of their own in the winter and ending the project which, at this stage, looks most likely.
It’s a cracking line-up with eight past and present Heathens, four of whom have won the National League in Cradley colours. I’m sure it will be a good night of racing and a great way to commemorate a decade of the club riding without a track of their own.
It really has been an honour for me personally to be a part of the group who brought the club back into league racing – but I must credit Heathens Speedway Supporters Club and the final people, Paul Partridge, Simon Priest, Will Pottinger, pictured, and Andy Minshall, who kept the fire burning for the Cradley name when others had given up. Without those gentlemen, the last decade would never have happened.