Island speedway bosses Barry Bishop and Martin Widman are delighted to be able to confirm today that they intend to enter a team in the Southern Development League (SDL) next season. The team name will be Isle of Wight ‘Wightlink’ Wizards and this venture will be in addition to all the usual Warrior activity.
Those who have been supporting speedway on the Isle of Wight since its launch in 1996 will recall the name of The Isle of Wight Wizards from the very first speedway season, so with the launch of this new project, it probably comes as no surprise that Wizards is the name chosen for the Island's latest speedway team. The side will be made up of riders from the Isle of Wight who have come through the My First Skid Speedway (MFS) school. SDL teams consist of four riders with matches taking place over six heats. The Wizards matches will take place as part of the Warriors normal race night.
In 2017 five teams contested the SDL – Plymouth, Kent, Reading (based at Eastbourne), Exeter (based at Somerset) and Weymouth (based at Plymouth). The SDL and its Midlands equivalent have done a great job giving young riders track time in a structured league / team situation and ‘Wightlink’ Warriors Co-Promoter Martin Widman said, "This is going to be a new era for the club as we look to increase rider development and education as well as improving the product of race day. We watched last year's SDL with interest and wanted to give our MFS students the next step in their development to hopefully taking a spot in the ‘Wightlink’ Warriors team. I cannot wait for this to start and to see the ‘Wightlink’ Wizards out on track."
Quick off the mark to welcome this news, James Tresadern, co-owner of the Weymouth Wildcats side said “the SDL family will be excited at the prospect of having the Wizards join us. The SDL clubs know what a fantastic job the Island promotion do with MFS and the SDL will provide their students with the next step in their racing progression as they develop individually and as part of a team. I’m sure their application will get tremendous support”.
‘Wightlink’ Warriors Co-promoter Barry Bishop added, "We are all so proud to use the name ‘Wightlink’ Wizards for our SDL team and probably even more so as it was the first team name used on the Island. In fact I was once a Wizard back in 1996, so I am extra proud to be part of it again. The ‘Wightlink’ Wizards will offer MFS students the chance to develop their race skills with a view to gaining a place in the Warriors line up. However, for me the most important thing of all is Martin and I have kept our promise to the Island. When we took on the Warriors, we made a commitment to the people of the Island to find riders from the island and the Wizards will enable us to watch Island riders develop as a team and as individuals with the aim of progressing to the National League standard of racing. It's very exciting and I cannot wait to introduce you to them and for you to be part of their speedway development. Anyone who would like to get involved with the Wizards and help them progress or sponsor the side, please do get in touch via email@example.com"