Two of British Speedway’s hottest young prospects will make their full Premiership debut with Belle Vue in 2017 after club boss Mark Lemon revealed the identity of his highly talented reserve duo.
18-year old Jack Smith and 17-year old Dan Bewley will take their flourishing careers to the next level at Manchester’s National Speedway Stadium after bursting onto the racing scene last year.
In addition to their top flight duties – and those with Championship side Glasgow – the two teenage sensations are also the first confirmed signings for the club’s National League team, the Colts.
Staffordshire-based Smith, son of former Aces rider Andy Smith and nephew of former Belle Vue star Paul Smith, proved himself a key element in Birmingham’s 2016 trophy-stuffed campaign.
His natural flair for the shale inevitably landed him multiple guest bookings throughout the season, many of them for Belle Vue, which he approached with great commitment and equal enthusiasm.
Cumbrian-born Bewley is perhaps one of Belle Vue’s most remarkable discoveries, and is a young man who needs no introduction in the wake of his truly astonishing maiden season on the shale.
A relatively unknown quantity, the gutsy rookie wasted no time in making an impression on all who paid attention when in only his first competitive meeting he stormed the scores charts with 11+1.
Commenting on his team-building plans, Director of Speedway Lemon said: “This team is coming together nicely and it’s going to exhibit a blend of talent that I’m sure the fans will be delighted with.
“We have the continuity and the wealth of experience of Craig Cook and Steve Worrall, and now a very vibrant and youthful reserve duo, each with great potential, in Jack Smith and Dan Bewley.
“We have come to the table late where team building is concerned, but even with the limitations imposed on the newly-formed Premiership we’re delighted that Dan and Jack were available.
“We strive to bring on youngsters like these guys and this year presented the perfect opportunity to draft both of them into the Aces team, whereas in previous years it may not have been possible.
“Dan is an asset of this club and certainly showed plenty of promise while starring for both the Colts and the Monarchs last season, and I believe he will fill his role at reserve very well indeed.
“Jack already comes with a wealth of experience behind him, after all you can’t mention the name Andy Smith without also remarking on his extensive racing history, much of it with Belle Vue.
“I had the privilege of watching the younger Smith when he raced the junior programmes down in Western Australia, and he’s made astonishing progress in the short time he’s raced in the UK.
“I’m very much looking forward to working with each of them. The team picture on the whole is looking all but complete but for a few additional formalities which still needed to be carried out.
“We should be in a position to name a full team in a matter of weeks.”
Words: Hayley Bromley
Images: Ian Charles