We’re raring to go! That’s the message Belle Vue have issued to their National League rivals as they prepare to raise the curtain on their 2016 campaign with an epic showdown against Cradley.
The Cool Running Colts will travel to Wolverhampton’s Monmore Green race track on the evening of Easter Monday while the home leg, scheduled for that same afternoon, awaits a re-staging date.
Though quite the challenge for the third-tier newbies, they hope their patience will be rewarded with, at minimum, their first batch of precious league points to kick start their quest for glory.
Team manager Graham Goodwin said: “It’s definitely a tough start to the season but the boys are enthusiastic and extremely keen to kick on so it’ll be great to finally get a match under our belts.
“We’ve had a few off-track get togethers with all seven riders prior to this meeting, and they’ve been organising independent practices between themselves at various tracks around the country.
“We know Cradley have a very strong top end, with probably the strongest top duo in the league in Max Clegg and Ash Morris, but then we’re not behind the door for being equally strong in return.
“Our captain and No.1 man Matt Williamson is a former Heathens rider and knows their track very well, as do his fellow heat leaders who’ve had more than their fair share of experience of the place.
“There will be quite a lot of unknowns in this meetings however, for example our two reserves Dan Bewley and Andy Mellish are new to Wolverhampton and have never ridden the circuit before.
“But despite that they’re as eager as the rest to don that Belle Vue race jacket and get their season underway, and very much looking forward to finally commencing the new era for this great club!”
Though yet to compete together as a unit the Cool Running Colts are already keeping scope on the bigger picture for their season, with the end of year Play Offs their primary target.
Said Goodwin: “The first goal for us is to get to the Play Offs. I can see the National League this year being tight between all twelve clubs, with most if not all teams quite evenly matched.
“You don’t foresee many teams will go to Cradley and come away with a win but obviously that’s something we’re going to try and do, while at the same time blowing away those winter cobwebs.
“If we can put in a performance where the whole team is happy and comfortable with what they’ve accomplished, it’s a good indicator for the rest of the year and gives us something to work on.”
TEAM LINE-UPS – MONDAY MARCH 28TH
Cradley ‘Motor Market’ Heathens
Max Clegg; James Purchase; Luke Chessell; Jack Kingston; Ashley Morris; Bradley Andrews; Ben Basford
Team Manager: Will Pottinger
Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts
Matt Williamson (C); David Holt; Rob Shuttleworth; Tom Woolley; Lee Payne; Andy Mellish; Daniel Bewley
Team Managers: Stephen Williams & Graham Goodwin