Raiders to change name to Berwick Academy

With the 2018 season just around the corner, Berwick Speedway can proudly announce that major improvements to the club's youth system have been made.

Monday, 5th February 2018, 15:48 pm
Updated Monday, 5th February 2018, 15:51 pm

The all conquering Border Raiders will now be known as the Berwick Bandits Academy, and structural innovations are well underway to ensure Berwick Speedway can provide its young riders with all of the opportunities necessary to make their way within the sport.

Club co-promoter Scott Courtney said: “Personnel won’t be changing as Gary Flint, Colin Easton and Alan Ferrow have done a fantastic job with the Raiders and they will continue to do so with the Academy.

“We are one year more experienced in running the club and naturally we want to make every improvement we can.

“We are rich in very good people who can help the next generation become the stars of tomorrow and we have to implement our ideas in this area immediately.

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“Captain Kevin Doolan, Tamas Sike, Jamie Courtney and myself will be working with Flinty, Colin and Alan throughout 2018 and beyond.

“The Grant Henderson Tankers Speedway Training Academy at Duns MX will have obvious benefits for all of the guys too.

“We need to help provide the next generation with an education on how the sport works from fitness to machinery, sponsorship, riding technique, safety and progression and I see no reason why we can’t be one of the most, if not the most progressive club in the UK in the near future.

“In a relatively short space of time Kieran Douglas, Leon Flint and Luke Ruddick have all established themselves as very capable riders and it’s great to see these guys looking forward to National League progression in 2018.

“Only this week it was confirmed Kieran will ride for Buxton Hitmen in the National League, and that is great news for him after the horrendous neck injuries he sustained not so long ago.

“Leon will be riding with Birmingham Brummies and Luke will be racing for Coventry.

“It’s very easy to get sidetracked and caught up with the politics and distractions of any sport in the off season and speedway is no exception but everyone involved behind the scenes at Berwick is encouraged to use a ‘cup half full’ mindset and the only way things improve is with a positive approach to our challenges.

“The Berwick Bandits Academy will be no different, only this time we are only adding to an already existing good formula.”

The Berwick Bandits Academy 2018 riders are as follows:

Luke Harrison, Sam McGurk, Max McGurk, Kev Whelan, Kieran Douglas, Leon Flint.

* This Friday evening the Black and Gold club host the Leon Flint Racing season.

Entry is free and the fun begins at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome to go along and support Leon and his team as he looks forward to his first season of National League racing.

Guests on the night include Team GB youth boss Neil Vatcher, Edinburgh Monarchs League conquering captain Derek Sneddon and the Bandits’ co-owner Scott Courtney.

* Kieran Douglas, who is 18, and who comes from Cornhill near Berwick, was confirmed as a starter with Buxton Hitmen in the National League last Friday.

Douglas, who suffered serious neck injuries over a year ago, is keen to develop his career and father Nail said: “Kieran has ridden well over the last 12 months building up his confidence and feels now is the right time to take on the challenge of National League speedway. Following a successful season with the Border Raiders he will join the Buxton team. Practice will commence soon with many visits to the new Berwick Academy at Duns.”