Lack of NL team place set to rob Carr of valuable experience

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LOCAL youngster Liam Carr looks like he will miss out on the start of the 2013 speedway National League.

Carr, who is 17, lives only a few hundred yards away from Shielfield Park and has been signed as the Bandits’ official number eight for the forthcoming campaign.

But so far he has failed to secure a starting berth with a National League side, which means he might miss out on gaining valuable track time and experience.

Berwick have expressed their concern at the situation and director George Hepburn commented: “Liam was at Stoke last season and made huge strides. For whatever reason, and I don’t know the answer, Stoke have not fitted him into their NL plans this year.

“In all honesty Liam needs to be riding in that league, not just second half racing at Berwick, which is limited in any case with the curfew.

“It looks like no one else in that league is prepared to give him a chance and I think most if not all teams have concluded plans,”

He added: “One of the problems could be geographical location as our nearest club to Berwick is Buxton. Perhaps there is a crying need for a third tier track further north as there are a few young lads unable to get a chance in the north and Scotland apart from the mini league, the Northern Junior League.”

Carr, who is keen to further his career, would naturally like to ride in the National League to gain valuable experience and he admits his lack of potential action is a major disappointment.

Father Lee said: “Liam would dearly love to ride in the National League this year but so far he hasn’t got a place.

“It’s a big blow to him, because he feels he could make a lot of progress this season.

“I think our geographical position doesn’t help - we have to go to places like Scunthorpe to practice, so it shows you just how far we have to travel.”

Carr will operate as Berwick’s number eight and will be on call if required, but he has always admitted that the step up to Premier League racing at this stage of his career is one which is probably too big for him.

“I know I need to gain a lot more experience before making that step,” he said.

As a footnote Carr has a long journey ahead of him on Saturday, March 16 when he travels to ride at Plymouth in the British Under-21 semi-final.