SPEEDWAY: By Alan Goodman

Hans Andersen
Hans Andersen

Plans for Bees to be a strong force in 2014

Promoter Mick Horton has made his intentions clear with the signing of Danish International Hans Andersen to lead the 2014 Coventry Bees team. Andersen was a member of the 2011 team but an early foot injury severely truncated his season.

After this season’s disappointment a major reshuffle was urgently needed and Bees will go into next year with a completely different septet.

Announcing the signing, Horton said: “We went for a number one of the calibre of Hans because we want the best. We feel that Hans is indeed one of the best, he’s proved that in the averages, and this will send out the message that we are really serious about this team.

Hans wants to come, which is important to us, and we welcome him. They don’t come much better than Hans Andersen.

I want our fans to know how serious we are about 2014. There are no excuses next season. This team is going to be the team to beat, and we aren’t interested in coming second.

We want to win this league, and this signing just proves our intent. Along with the signings we’ve made already, we are going to be a very strong force in 2014.

Decisions made at this year’s BSPA conference set the combined averages of the top five at the lower figure of 32 points. This decision was made due to the need to cut costs after the lucrative SKY Television contract ended. Although discussions are taking place no new contract has been signed.

Ryan Fisher also rejoins the club and along with Chris Harris will enjoy his testimonial year. With Harris and Kenneth Hansen already signed this leaves about five points for the fifth member and means there is no place for last year’s skipper Scott Nicholls or Rider of the Year Grzegorz Zengota.

There are also new regulations for reserves. These will be up and coming British riders with no Elite League experience. A list of twenty will be drawn up by the BSPA and evenly allocated to the ten tracks. Localities will be considered so Bees can confidently expect at least one of last year’s Storm team to get his chance. The race formula is likely to be altered to include two reserve races.

There is one change to the Elite League next year. Peterborough have resigned due to ongoing financial problems and their place will be taken by Leicester. At the moment however there must be doubts over Birmingham’s participation after a mass exodus of riders and team manager Phil Morris.

There will also be a full fixture list with all teams riding each other twice home and away instead of the controversial system of the past two years. The play-offs between the top four teams will stay the same.

Bees will open the season on Good Friday with home and away fixtures against newly promoted Leicester.

Before that however Brandon stages the ‘Christmas Cracker’ meeting on Sunday December 29th. Details have still to be announced.

Alan Goodman.