Dick Barrie's picture

So Scunthorpe have changed their team after just three matches.

17-year-old Australian Jedd List has been dumped in favour of Danny Ayres.

I don’t know if there’s any background to this move, but if it has been made purely on the basis of Jedd List only scoring a handful of points in his meetings so far, it seems very, very unfair.

I saw Jedd at the BenFund Bonanza last month and, having met him in Australia when he was still riding on junior bikes, I had a word with the lad.

Like so many young, first-timer colonials over the years he was jet-lagged, freezing cold and trying to learn a dozen new things every time he went out to race. He was never too far off the pace that day, and picked up a couple of points, beating Connor Mountain, I think it was. I wished him well, told him it would get warmer, and easier.

He has since had three matches for Scunny, riding in the main body of their team (at No 4, not even 2!) and hardly surprisingly, not having too much success. He finished a race ahead of Ty Proctor and another in front of Jason Garrity, but that’s about it.

What did Scunthorpe expect? The boy has come 12,000 miles to a strange country, is having to learn to race as his meetings unfold, has scored at least one point in three out of the four meetings he’s been involved in and must have been thinking he was beginning catch his breath, hoping to kick on.

Jedd List isn’t without talent – he finished third in an FIM World Junior event in Denmark a couple of years ago -- but he’s only had something like a dozen senior meetings on a 500cc bike at home before coming over to join Scunny.

Now he’s out in the cold. 12,000 miles from home.

If Redcar had followed this route last season, Jordan Stewart wouldn’t have survived a dozen or more pointless matches before finding his feet in this strange land. Hell, even Edinburgh gave Jye Etheridge a better chance in his debut season!

I feel the sport must come together to prevent future Jedds from being dumped so quickly after investing so much to travel here to join a British club like the Scorpions.

I believe that, once a club has registered their 1-7 prior to a season, they should be required to use that team for a limited number of official matches before making a change. That's the rule for the last two months of a season, why not at the start, too?

The Viktor Palavaaro situation at Newcastle was similar but different (Nike Lunna was the catalyst causing the Diamonds’ reaction there) but it had the same result – a rider who had agreed to join a team is now on the sidelines and earning no money to compensate his huge pre-season investment.

So, I say – if clubs cannot be trusted to honour their contracts and employ the young riders they have agreed to take on board – then the BSPA should bring in a regulation requiring them to so do.

Before there is another Jedd List, Viktor Palavaaro (or Josh McDonald, for that matter) left waiting on the wings through no fault of their own.