Speedway: Elite draft riders selected

ELITE League clubs have selected their reserves for the 2015 season under the draft system.Promoters from all eight top flight sides attended a BSPA meeting on Wednesday where the riders to take the No.6 and 7 positions in their teams for next year were decided.

Five of the clubs retain at least one of the Elite Draft Riders who appeared for them at reserve in 2014, with Coventry the only one to maintain the same combination as Jason Garrity and James Sarjeant both return to Brandon.

Three of the newcomers to the full draft, Josh Auty, Ashley Birks and Charles Wright, secured team places with Leicester, Lakeside and Swindon respectively.The Lions and the Robins, along with Wolverhampton, track all-new pairings with the latter including British Under-21 Champion Josh Bates, who won that title at Monmore Green last year.Bates is joined by Lewis Blackbird, who had Monmore as a home track in 2013 as part of the Dudley Heathens’ National League team.

Reigning champions Poole retain club asset Kyle Newman, and he is joined by Paul Starke, who started last season at Birmingham before their withdrawal.Lewis Kerr returns for King’s Lynn, who selected former Wolves rider Joe Jacobs as their second pick after Lewis Rose was chosen to partner Wright at Swindon.Belle Vue asset Steve Worrall will line up for his parent club, with the Aces retaining the services of Stefan Nielsen as their Tier 2 rider.Birks will be joined at Lakeside by Hammers asset Adam Ellis, returning for a second season, whilst Auty’s reserve partner at Leicester will be Simon Lambert after spells with Birmingham and King’s Lynn this year.

Draft co-ordinator Neil Vatcher said: “We have some well-matched reserve combinations for next season and we have improved the strength of those pairings with some of the riders coming in.“Some of the Tier 2 riders were first picks last year so all-round it should be a stronger product for the supporters.“The two riders not selected from Tier 1 (Steve Boxall and Adam Roynon) will be on the guest list, along with some others not included in the draft, and I’m sure they will still be very busy as teams will require guests at times.“There are several more riders on the Tier 2 list who can all guest, and the reason for that is to avoid a situation which arose this year when there was nobody available to guest in a meeting, so we’ve virtually gone down to 5.00 in the National League on that list.”

ELITE DRAFT RIDERS 2015:POOLE – Kyle Newman/Paul StarkeCOVENTRY – Jason Garrity/James SarjeantKING’S LYNN – Lewis Kerr/Joe JacobsSWINDON – Charles Wright/Lewis RoseLAKESIDE – Ashley Birks/Adam EllisWOLVERHAMPTON – Lewis Blackbird/Josh BatesBELLE VUE – Steve Worrall/Stefan NielsenLEICESTER – Josh Auty/Simon Lambert

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