Sky Sports make their first – and probably only – visit to Arlington on Monday (July 29) for the live broadcast of the Eastbourne Lifestyle Eagles’ clash with Birmingham, writes Richard Hudson.
The teams have had contrasting fortunes this year – the Brummies are well in the hunt for an Elite League play-off spot while the home club are in a scrap to avoid the wooden spoon.
The smart money will be on the Midlands club returning home with three or four league points for a victory over a weakened Eastbourne outfit who had hoped to welcome Lukas Dryml back to the fray.
He rode in the Speedway World Cup for the Czech Republic on Saturday and had seemingly recovered from his injuries sustained at Arlington last month
However, team boss Trevor Geer received a call from Dryml saying his wound was still bleeding and not healing properly and would not be able to ride.
He is targeting a comeback in the match against Lakeside on August 10.
Eastbourne will use rider replacement to cover Dryml’s rides but that is unlikely to be as an effective the rider himself who at times looks unbeatable on his home track.
I understand Eastbourne have again been frustrated over recent days in their quest to bring in another rider.
Geer has spent considerable time (and money) on calls to “hot prospects” but keep getting the same answer: Thanks, but no thanks.
Eastbourne are not the only club in Britain struggling to bring in new riders from the continent this season.
There was a time when they were queuing up but that’s no longer the case.
European speedway riders can drive everywhere in a van their bikes and a mechanic.
If you ride regularly in our Elite League, you need a UK set-up and it seems young continentals don’t believe it is worthwhile to do that.
They think they will learn (and perhaps earn) more in Poland and that the flying in and out of the UK is just not worth it.
Above: Lukas Dryml in stunning action around Arlington. Picture: Mike Hinves/www.speedwayprint.co.uk