SPEEDWAY: By Alan Goodman

Coventry Buildbase Bees for 2014
Coventry Buildbase Bees for 2014
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New line-up for 2014 season

A healthy gathering of fans turned out at Brandon on Friday for the Press and Practice day in preparation for the new season.

After the disappointment of last season when Bees finished rock-bottom of the league, Promoter Mick Horton has gathered together a complete new seven to try and regain some respectability.

Chris Harris has returned from a season at Birmingham to lead the side and will form a twin spearhead with Hans Andersen who comes from Swindon. The remainder of the top five is another Bees asset, Ryan Fisher, the exciting Kenneth Hansen, who after a spell out of British speedway impressed in last year’s Brandonapolis and hot prospect Kyle Howarth who was snatched from Workington under the noses of the Poole promotion. The reserves under the new draft system will be James Sarjeant and Jason Garrity.

After the practice skipper Harris gave the side the thumbs up saying that the team has gelled quickly and that will show when they actually get racing. He also thinks that Bees have some of the strongest youngsters which can be good for the club in the future.

There is however another week before Bees take to the track as a team. The first action will be next Friday when Birmingham, the team Harris rode for last season, visit Brandon for an Elite League match.

National League side, Coventry Storm were also on view and look a real prospect for honours in the lower tier.

Sarjeant will lead this side which has been strengthened by the signing of British Under-19 Champion Stefan Nielsen and Daniel Greenwood. They will join Oliver Greenwood (no relation), Luke Crang, Martin Knuckey and Ryan Terry-Daley.

Preview

It is the Storm who has the honour of opening the 2014 campaign tomorrow night (Friday). They ride against local side Cradley Heath who under the name of Dudley won last year’s National League. They presently ride at Wolverhampton but the aim is to build a new stadium to replace their spiritual home of Dudley Wood which was lost to the developers in 1995.

The two sides will be competing for the Travel Plus Trophy with the second leg at Wolverhampton on Tuesday, April 1.

With the excellent support that Cradley has, the revival of the local derby should provide an excellent opener to the season.

On Sunday the stadium stages The Elite League Riders Championship. A star studded field has been assembled and should provide some excellent speedway. Bees top two of Chris Harris and Hans Andersen will be competing against current World champion Tai Woffinden among others.

The complete line-up is: 1.Danny King, 2.Peter Karlsson, 3.Craig Cook, 4. Niels K.Iversen, 5.Hans Andersen, 6.Tai Woffinden, 7.Rory Schlein, 8.Troy Batchelor, 9. Matej Zagar, 10.Freddie Lindgren, 11.Peter Kildemand, 12. Darcy Ward, 13.Bjarne Pedersen, 14.Chris Harris, 15.Kenneth Bjerre, 16.Jason Doyle.

Start time is 6pm and admission is £25, concessions £20, ages 12-15 £5 and 11 and under free.