PREVIEW: Coventry in tough season opener
Coventry Cycle Speedway club race into the new season this Sunday (8.3.15) when they travel to top northern side Bury in a tough opening to the new campaign in Greater Manchester.
The Hearsall Common based side enter the new season, their fourth since the pedal sport was revived in the city, in confident and upbeat mood. The sport is thriving in Coventry, with record numbers of riders, officials, volunteers and sponsors.
Club officials have had to expand the new Coventry Junior League to cope with demand, with surging participation levels thanks to the clubs vibrant promotional activities on the back of the national boom in cycling.
On the team front, team boss Lee Marsh will have his strongest squad to date as the club battle for Midland league honours. However, they have been dealt a double early blow with 15 year old `boy wonder` Kyle Roberts out of action with a broken arm and Polish star Konrad Pietak (pictured) not arriving back in the UK until May.
They will be bolstered by the signing of World class Australian ace Bobby McMillan, who signed for Coventry in January ahead of a pack of Elite League clubs. McMillan, who has settled in Bretford, has already proved a big hit with club members, thanks to his infectious enthusiasm and approach to training.
Double British finalist Myke Grimes, together with Polish sensation Dominik Rycharski, are set to lead the Coventry attack and once Marsh can field his strongest combination, a fine season is expected.
Experienced first teamers Dave Frith, Joe McLaughlin, Kelvin Williams, Tom Sensicall and Matthew Lawrence are all back in action, making competition for first team places extremely fierce. Coventry are also expected to include Polish 2015 European finalist Robert Bedra during the new campaign.
An emphasises on local youngsters since the May 2011 revival has paid huge dividends and 2015 is expected to see Mason Phillips and Dan Drewett break through at national level. A new wave of home grown talent like Josh Marsh, Ollie Morris, Charlie Barnett, Shaun Reynolds and Spencer Sawbridge are waiting in the wings.
The highlight of the new season will be on Thursday 6th August when the Coventry club will proudly stage the third Test and final match between Great Britain and Australia. The occasion will be the biggest ever event, in the history of the sport, to be staged in Coventry.
Already, the Coventry club have raised several thousands of pounds of funding and sponsorship to present the Australian Test match in a manner that will bring great prestige to the city and the promoting club. The event will be screened on Sky Sports and will be free to spectate to the Coventry sporting public.
With Rycharski, Pietak and Roberts all missing for the trip to Bury, Coventry draft in three times British champion Andy Angell of Hull and Sheffield teenage star Adam Watson to provide competitive opposition to the high flying home side.
Coventry team: 1 Myke Grimes 2 Mason Phillips 3 Andy Angell 4 Dan Drewett 5 Bobby McMillan 6 Kelvin Williams 7 Adam Watson 8 Joe McLaughlin
Coventry junior team (at Bury): 1 Ollie Morris 2 Charlie Barnett 3 Matt Hambidge 4 Josh Marsh 5 Sammi Marsh 6 Bailie Phillips
For more information on Coventry Cycle Speedway, including how to get involved, you can visit www.coventrycyclespeedway.co.uk or follow the club on Twitter using @CoventryCSC.
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