Berwick Bandits have gone ‘double Dutch’ with the shock signing of 17 year-old Romano Hummel.
Subject to approval from the relevant authorities, the teenager will make his debut for the club tonight (Thursday) at Sheffield, and will turn out for his first home start against Redcar at Shielfield on Saturday.
He joins the Bandits on an assessed five point average and he joins the team at the expense of Danish rider Henning Bager, who had been signed as a temporary replacement for the injured Anders Mellgren.
With Matty Wethers moving up into the main body of the team, Hummel will race at reserve, but with Liam Carr sidelined with a broken scaphoid, the Border club have been forced to draft in another 17 year-old, Dan Bewley, who will line up against the Bears.
Hummel becomes the second Dutchman in the Bandits’ side, joining fellow countryman Theo Pijper, who has been mentoring him and guided him in the direction of the club.
Manager Scottm Courtney is bubbling with enthusiasm over the signing, saying:“I’m really excited to welcome Romano here.
“He’s a very talented young lad with a bright future in our sport”.
“He has this all-action style which everyone will love, plus a very good attitude. It goes without saying that he will need time to settle in and adjust to the tracks in the UK but I feel he’ll be able to take a look at most places and adapt pretty quickly.”
“Right now, I’m really and truly energised to be going to see the Olympus Marquees Bandits taking to the track after their ten-day break from action, I know they’ll be working hard to prove that we can be a threat to anyone, anywhere, when we have 7 fit riders”.
Co-promoter Dennis McCleary added: “Romano turned 17 in January, and has considerable experience, and more than a few gold medals in FIM Youth speedway, and he now races in Holland’s World Team Cup squad, and on the big international grass-tracks.”
“On behalf of the club, I’d like to highlight all the effort which went into recruiting Romano , with Scott, as well as club directors John Anderson and George Hepburn, working with Theo Pijper to make it all happen.
“All being well, and as I emphasise, necessary permissions being granted, he rides at Sheffield on Thursday night”.
On Bager’s departure Courtney said: “We are obviously pleased about Romano joining us, but while this is very exciting news for our club I feel it’s very important to thank Henning Bager for his efforts over the last few weeks”.
“I must emphasise how Henning stepped in to help us out of a tricky situation at very short notice – if he hadn’t taken our offer of a 28-day contract we would have been in a bad position, forced into using the rider-replacement regulation for just the fifth spot in our averages, which always piles a lot of pressure onto the reserves.”