• Rob Dyer

Wizards Approved For SDL

The clubs involved in the Midland and Southern Development Leagues met at Perry Barr Stadium , Birmingham last Saturday to make decisions in readiness for the 2018 season. Whilst neither Barry Bishop or Martin Widman were able to attend given the very short notice for the meeting, fellow promoters were fully aware of the Wizards commitment to the SDL and welcomed the Island side on board.

Since last season, both leagues have lost clubs unfortunately, but have a few new additions in need of confirmation. In the SDL, Plymouth are not running their Demons side this year whilst Exeter move their operation from Somerset to the St Boniface Arena whilst Weymouth are in discussions to share the Eastbourne track with Reading. Kent are awaiting confirmation that they will be using Iwade as their home circuit in 2018. Bristol Bulldogs are awaiting news on where they will be based having been in talks with Swindon to run there.

Development League main stay Laurence Rogers was voted in to co-ordinate both leagues with support from the MDL from Carmarthen’s Lawrence Fielding and the SDL from Reading’s Emma Pike. He commented “ having cut back on my workload with Plymouth I know I can oversee both leagues with the support of Lawrence and Emma . The AGM was a good one with so much agreed without opposition and a real good feeling throughout the clubs.”

The format and rules of the leagues remain unchanged with the race format retained of four man teams over six heats with opportunities for running three junior races for the 125/150cc or 250cc riders if clubs can include them.

One area in need of clarification for the Wizards is that clubs will be naming four man man squads with riders also being added to a national pool of riders that clubs can use with riders in the two leagues being encouraged to get as much experience as they can by racing in both leagues if they can. There will also be inter-league challenges where clubs are trying to give their riders more track time and meetings and run regular second halves . The eligibility of riders remains unchanged in 2018.

There will be no play –offs with the team at the top of each regional league named as champions and if fixtures allow at the end of the season there may be a two legged clash between the MDL and SDL Champions.

There will be a joint MDL/SDL Riders Championship Final with the venue being sorted with two possible ones being discussed at the AGM.

Once confirmation of the Bristol position is received then the final format of the two leagues will be known. If all come to the tapes there will six teams in each league meeting home and away once.

MDL : Birmingham ; Belle Vue; Carmarthen (at Stoke); Kings Lynn (TBC) ; Milton Keynes (TBC);Peterborough.

SDL : Bristol (at Swindon TBC) ; Exeter (at Plymouth); IOW; Kent (at Iwade TBC); Reading (at Eastbourne) ; Weymouth (at Eastbourne TBC).

With their league involvement now confirmed, the Island management will start the process of recruiting a team manager and team coordinator for the Wizards whilst concurrently seeking meeting sponsorship opportunities. Anyone who is interested in either position or becoming a sponsor are invited to email speedwayontheisland@yahoo.co.uk as soon as possible.