It’s Tuesday night, and you know what that means…
It’s time for another trip through the alphabet and around the country as myself and Marty take a look at Speedway GB Championship and cast our eye over the league.
It’s the third and penultimate installment of Mythman and Marty’s Season Preview…so without further ado let’s get straight to it….
Perhaps the side hit worst in terms of being forced to make changes from their proposed 2020 line up, the Diamonds have endured a torrid time of it for a variety of reasons. But the main thing is they will be at the tapes in 2021 albeit a little later than most. Ben Barker will ensure that the admission money is well spent in terms of entertainment and the main back up to him should come in the form of Matty Wethers, who is a criminally underrated rider of the Championship. Joe Alcock comes in as the “Rising Star” and any one of Connor Mountain, James Wright, Max Clegg or Adam Roynon could find themselves partnering him throughout the season. Connor Mountain of course was initially in the side, then he was out and now he is back in! Adam Roynon is on the comeback trail after having an incredible amount of injuries over the years and James Wright comes back after a lengthy absence having rekindled his love for the sport. If the Diamonds are to spring a number of surprises, I feel James Wright will need to hit the heights of his glory days. Many questions, will they provide answers?
Marty’s Key Man – James Wright
Making his racing return after spending some time away from the sport. He is a former PLRC winner and PL heat leader so knows what it’s all about. The Diamonds will be hoping James can get somewhere close to his former best and back up the all action Ben Barker to spearhead the Diamonds.
Mythman Predicts – The going could well prove to be tough for the Diamonds, but safeguarding the future of the club is the main priority for new owner Rob Grant and sometimes you have to step back once to take two strides forward. The loss of Claus Vissing could well prove to be a massive blow though.
Well, what can you say about the Gladiators? This lineup has a bit of everything. Experience, youth, cosmopolitan, colourful…you name it the and you’ll Colosseum all in action in Plymouth! While the headlines were all grabbed by blockbuster signing and three time world champion Jason Crump deciding to have a crack at the Championship, he isn’t the only ex GP rider in their lineup as Danish star Bjarne Pedersen also makes the jump. While these two aren’t challenging for World Championships anymore, there is little doubt they will be top line performers at this level and they’ll put bums in seats…which is what we all want to see. With the exception of Alfie Bowtell and Henry Atkins, the rest of the side has a very unknown look about it with Australian Zach Cook, Frenchman Steven Gouret and American Dillon Ruml completing the side. Win, lose or draw, the Gladiators will be one of the more interesting sides in action in 2021.
Marty’s Key Man – Jason Crump
Who else? Gotta be the triple World Champion, Jason Crump. With all his vast experience, knowledge and potential points scoring the promotion down there will be hopeful he can inspire and guide most of his younger teammates and help them improve. He and Bjarne Pedersen, himself another experienced hand, can help the less experienced members of the the team along. Born in Bristol, raised in Mildura and now piling in the points for Plymouth(hopefully).
Mythman Predicts – A powerful spearhead with a potentially long tail might mean a few long nights on the road for the Gladiators. However the youngsters in the side can learn an awful lot from two riders who have seen and done it all in the sport, they might spring a few surprises.
Wimbourne Road and the often controversial Pirates of Poole who might just have the best heat leader trio in the league in Stevie Worrall, Danny King and Rory Schlein, despite losing Adam Ellis for 2021. Josh Macdonald was due to be in the side but he ends up being replaced with Danyon Hume, who could end up being among the better “Rising Star” riders in the league. Stefan Neilsen has been around a few years now but has proved to be a decent performer when he steers clear of injury and gets a settled run in the side. Aussie Newcomers Zane Keleher and Ben Cook come in and complete the side and if they turn out to be half as good as some of the Aussie imports of the Pirates past, they’ll be on to a winner. If not, the Pirates may well ring the changes as the season progresses.
Marty’s Key Man – Stefan Nielsen
No doubt many people’s favourite to be champions with a very solid 7 assembled down in Dorset. Top 3 all very capable riders at CL level and with a couple of unknowns, Stefan Nielsen will be absolute key to the Pirates chances. He’s a lad who, in the main hasn’t quite managed to make that breakthrough to heat leader level yet but in a settled Poole side, he may just find that little be extra he needs to take his career forward again.
Mythman Predicts – The Pirates have never been known to settle for being also-rans, and their management have never been scared of making changes if things aren’t going to plan. They’ve never built a side intended to struggle so for that reason they can’t be overlooked.
Join us next week for the final part of the preview where we save the best til last!
Of course if you wish to agree, or disagree with the Mythman, have an idea for a feature, or you simply want to chew the fat over all things speedway, you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via the JB Speedway Media Facebook page. If your compliments, or indeed gripes can be contained to limited characters, you can send me a tweet @Mythman666.
Until next time…and there will be a next time.
Right I’ll hae’tae gan