Aces Swoop for Sedgmen
With the club's first fixture scheduled only three weeks away, team-building continues in earnest for Belle Vue's Premiership squad with Justin Sedgmen becoming the latest addition to their septet.
The 25-year old from Mildura, Victoria joins former Edinburgh team mates Craig Cook and Steve Worrall, and top flight debutants Jack Smith and Dan Bewley in the new look Aces side in 2017.
"To be in the new stadium working with him as my team manager, and working wth guys like Craig [Cook] and Stevie [Worrall], as well as the new promotion, is an exciting and amazing opportunity.
The younger brother of Ryan Sedgmen brings with him to Manchester's National Speedway Stadium quite a wealth of experience from riding in the former British Premier and Elite Leagues.
He spent the 2016 campaign with the Swindon Robins and showed great potential on his visits to the state-of-the-art northern venue, scoring a grand total of 13+1 from his two appearances.
It's been a frustrating winter for the Australian No.2, who briefly returned to Britain in January in order to save his European career before heading back to his homeland to prepare for the season.
He explained: "I honestly didn't think I'd be racing in the UK this year. For one reason or another I couldn't go back to Swindon, and as time wore on places in all the other teams were being filled.
"As we went into January I knew my work visa was running out. I've spent most of winter working with Mark Lemon and he contacted me to say there might be something for me at Belle Vue.
Director of Speedway Lemon added: "Justin is a very capable rider with plenty of ability. He's been around for quite a long time and when you consider he's only just turned 25, it's quite remarkable.
"I don't feel we've yet seen his true potential here in Europe. His results in Australia are second to none, I mean his form has just been dynamite as we saw in this year's National Championships.
"We just need to nurture that form and transfer it into his racing over here before the opportunities he deserves dry up, which they could do if he doesn't deliver. I've every confidence he can do it.
"I've never had the opportunity to work with Justin as manager to rider. But I know him very well, we come from the same home town in Australia so hopefully I can help get the best out of him.
"I'm equally hopeful that he will respond well under my management. He has a very attractive average for a rider with his skill and I'm very surprised that his parent club didn't snap him up.
"Nonetheless it's great news for Belle Vue and we fully intend to capitalise on Justin's average, as well as his affinity for big tracks like ours. After that, we just need to hone his consistency."
(Photo by Ian Charles)
Saturday 11th March 2017