The Warriors are in National League action on Thursday (2 August) when Stoke Potters provide the opposition at the Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium.
Last week’s comprehensive defeat of Buxton has buoyed the confidence in the Island camp that made light of the absence of three key riders - Ben Morley, Alfie Bowtell and Chris Widman.
It will be the same again in terms of absence this week; however with new riding averages in force from 1 August, the successful strategy used last Thursday will have to be tweaked by team manager Jackie Vatcher to accommodate returning guest Danny Ayres and Eastbourne’s exciting teenager Tom Brennan. The rider replacement facility for Chris Widman will be used in the number two position placing more responsibility on Danno Verge and the two reserves to deliver vital points.
The Potters arrive on the first leg of their southern tour with a number of problems to overcome. Stadium and track difficulties at their Loomer Road circuit have halted their ability to stage home meeting at the moment whilst on the track, veteran captain Tony Atkin has recently stepped away from the club for personal reasons and in his absence Luke Ruddick (Mildenhall) has been called in as a guest rider. Recent signing David Wallinger also misses out through a fixture clash with his Championship club Ipswich and it seems likely that the Potters will be tracking four 3.00 riders on the night. Nevertheless in Max Clegg and Rob Shuttleworth the visitors have two competitive riders with proven records around the Smallbrook track so the Warriors must banish any complacency and be up to their work right from the off.
Home co-promoter Barry Bishop, still bubbling from last week’s win, said, “We picked up a league point from our trip to Stoke before being dealt a cruel blow when the match was abandoned due to deteriorating conditions. At that point the Potters were only just in front of us and I’m sure that if we had carried on, our strong finish would have seen us gain at least a draw if not a win however we move on and I hope that the boys will quickly get into the groove and demonstrate what we are capable of – just like last week. We are determined to give our fans a win to cap what I’m sure will be another fun packed night of speedway entertainment, the Warrior way”.
The early team news is as follows:
Warriors: Danny Ayres, Rider Replacement for Chris Widman, Scott Campos, Danno Verge, Tom Brennan, Jamie Bursill, Shaun Tedham.
Potters: Luke Ruddick, TBC, Rob Shuttleworth, Tim Colley, Max Clegg, Joe Alcock, Paul Burnett.
As usual, gates will open at 5.30 pm with open pit access available from 5.45 pm to 6.15 pm, pre-meeting demonstrations by the mascots and Mini Warriors from 6.15 pm ahead of the parade of riders at 6.45 pm with the first race at 7.00 pm.
Just a reminder that the 'Wightlink' Wizards meeting against Weymouth has been deferred to Tuesday 7 August.