Devils confirm National league placing

Plymouth will continue to compete in speedway’s National League next season. That is the welcome news for Devils supporters following the annual meeting of National League promoters during the past week.

Plymouth co-promoter Mark Phillips said: “We are pleased to confirm that Plymouth will be riding in 2018 in the National League alongside nine other teams.”

Changes to the competition mean the League will drop from 11 teams to ten. Dropping out are Lakeside Hammers, who have opted to move up to the Championship, and Cradley Heathens who will contest the National Trophy only.

It is hoped that 2010 Elite League Champions Coventry will join the League and stage their home meetings at Leicester.

Plymouth will again compete in the National Trophy after finishing as runners-up last season. They are in the South Group along with Eastbourne, Kent and the Isle of Wight.

Featuring in the North Group will be: Birmingham, Buxton, Coventry (subject to confirmation), Cradley Heath and Stoke.

The points limit has been set at 39 for team building and Phillips admitted: “Ideally, we would have liked to have a couple more points to play with to help with our team building plans but it will not deter us from building a strong team for the new season.”

The Promoters’ Association are additionally working on a number of projects to bring on young talent.

British Speedway chairman Keith Chapman said: “We are pleased to see clubs committed to the National League and committed to bringing young riders through the system.

“There’s not much change in the League, which is good to see, and I’m sure it will be an exciting League next season.

“We have many projects we are working on and we are hoping to see the Moto-X riders who have registered their interest in our great sport filtering into the NL at stages during next season.”

The Plymouth promotion are keeping busy during the close season with many exciting changes ahead. It is expected that improvements will take place for spectator enjoyment on racedays, along with changes to the club personnel and announcements are due on the team building front now the points limit has been agreed.

Explaining Cradley’s decision to restrict their racing to the National Trophy in 2018 after eight seasons in the National League, co-promoter Gary Patchett said: “Whilst we thank David Mason at Birmingham for extending an invitation for the club to use Perry Barr again it is not viable for us to do so.

“We made a pledge to our supporters to do everything in our power to keep the club on track next season and this was the only option open to us.

“We thank the other member clubs of the NL for allowing us the opportunity to keep the name of this great club alive.”

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.