Berwick are awaiting the arrival of new signing Matic Voldrih for the forthcoming campaign, admitting that his inclusion in their starting line-up is a bit of a gamble.
Co-promoter Dennis McCleary has confirmed that none of the Bandits’ management have met the 26 year-old Slovenian before, and they have not seen him ride.
“To be honest, we’ve signed the guy up on the recommendation of Slovenia’s top rider, Grand Prix star Matej Zagar,” admitted McCleary.
“Although we’ve studied his form, and looked at tapes of his racing performances, none of us have yet met Matic, or seen him race – he’s never been in Britain before!”
Nonetheless, the enthusiasm of Zagar and what they have seen on video has convinced the border club to make the contract commitment – and Voldrih is getting ready to roll!
“There’s another problem in that he doesn’t speak English,” said McCleary. “However, Google Translate is a great tool, and we’re getting reports from him.
“He tells us there are a lot of things going on in order to be fully set up for when he gets to Berwick. He’s just back from the Czech Republic, where he went to buy some speedway equipment. He needs two additional engines, which are going to be ready soon.
“Matic says he had hoped to have some practice on one or other of the tracks in Slovenia, but the weather has been very bad, lots of rain and mud. So no luck there.
“However, he’ll send his racing bikes and workshop over to Berwick next week and then he will fly in, settle into his accommodation in Tweedmouth on March 12th, and will immediately arrange to practice on a British circuit that Saturday.
“Right now, he’s still working at his winter job every day, and going to the gym there three times a week to get in good physical condition.
“We obviously hope he will get used to the tracks in the UK, their shape and surface, as they are different from the tracks in mainland Europe, and I know he’s also hoping he will learn English quickly! He’s already working on this but in the meantime we are relying on Google.”
Meanwhile, another of Berwick’s signings, Kevin Doolan is gearing himself up for the start of the new season, and is hoping to start off in the same way he finished the 2014 campaign.
Last season Doolan got off to a slow start and famously referred to one of his bikes as ‘a donkey.’
“The old donkey’s off to the glue factory!” he said. “Instead, I’ve got a couple of sleek, slick, speedy thoroughbreds ready, all serviced and ready to go.”
The Aussie, who has been unaffected by the new visa rules, is looking fiorward to the new season and can’t wait for the weather to improve to get is some practice ahead of the new campaign.
* The Berwick Speedway Supporters’ Club held their annual general meeting recently when the following officials were elected.
Chairperson - Angela Wilson, Vice Chairperson - Allan Neil, Treasurer - Lisa Youngman, Secretary - Shelley Wilson; Committee - Norman Clark, Scott Dempsey, Viv Dempsey,Kenny Tait, Derek Wilson, Cath Ellis and Keith Parkins.
The BSSC plan to launch their own website shortly, giving details of events, presentations, buses and tours etc.
However, they will no longer run the 50/50 draw, which was a major fund-raising venture. This has gone back to the Promotion and a statement from the BSCC said: “We wish everyone concerned with the 50/50 the best of luck and we thank the Promotion for the opportunity they gave us running the 50/50 since our relaunch.”