Berwick teenager Liam Carr is gearing up for his first full season of Premier League speedway with his home-town club.
And the 17 year-old is calling on the services of a former world champion to help him in what he describes will be ‘a massive learning curve.’
“I have been invited to attend an academy set up by former world champion Jan O Pedersen from Denmark,” he said. “The academy will be held at various locations throughout the year and will include everything from dietry information to how to prepare your equipment, how to deal with the media and make approaches to sponsors.
“Therre will only be five or six of us and I actually think I am the oldest rider to be invited, but I am hoping I will learn a lot from it. Jan O has a wealth of experience and it will be interesting to listen to what he has to say.”
Carr is a sixth form pupil at Berwick Academy where he is studying the media, biology and sport. He realises that becoming a professional speedway rider will impact on his time in the classroom to a certain extent, but he says he has already discussed the situation with his tutors and once the fixture list is published, is hopeful they will be able to work around it.
After coming through the junior ranks at Shielfield, and a short spell with Buxton in the national League, Carr got his first taste of Premier League racing with Edinburgh when he guested on several occasions for the Monarchs last season.
“That helped me a lot,” he said, “and it meant I made better progress than I initially thought I might. I had an idea Berwick were interested in signing me for 2014, but it still came as a surprise when I was offered a contract.
“Two things made my mind up for me. The first was the fact that Claus Vissing had already signed. He helped me a lot at Edinburgh last year and we became good friends - I might even travel to some of the away meetings with him this year as I haven’t passed my driving test yet. And of course, the second was the fact that I couldn’t turn down my home town club.
“I live only half a mile from the track and ever since I knew I wanted to become a speedway rider it was the Bandits for me. David Meldrum was the last home town rider to break into the team, but I can hardly remember him racing if I am honest. What I am hoping now is that the home fans will get behind me as the local lad and give me all the support they can.”