Young New Zealand race ace Bradley Wilson-Dean is determined to make the most of his opportunity with Eastbourne Eagles this season.
The ambitious 21-year-old from Hastings, New Zealand has been tipped as one to watch this season as the Eagles prepare for their first season back in the National League.
The 21-year-old New Zealand under-21 champion flew into Heathrow earlier this week and instantly began preparations for his maiden season at Arlington Stadium.
Despite the jet-lag, Wilson-Dean took to the track for his first skid around the Eastbourne shale. Wilson-Dean reported a few clutch problems but insists he will be firing on all cylinders come tapes-up for their first meet in the National Trophy on Good Friday, April 3 against the Kent Kings.
“It’s great to be here,” Wilson-Dean said. “Basically I have been talking to Connor (Dugard) over the phone and on Facebook for the last four years.
“But before that my Dad and Martin (Dugard) were good friends in the 80’s and were racing together in the UK and that was how it all came about.
“In New Zealand I’m a qualified arc welder and I was racing speedway over there too. The speedway is not really that serious in New Zealand. Everyone just does it for fun, there is no money in it. I think the most I ever got over there a was about $500 in my life which is about £250.They have just started up a league so that’s pretty cool but coming here was first choice.”
Motor bikes were a huge part of family life as he grew up in the town of Hastings, located on the east coast of the North Island. His father was a keen rider and Bradley was riding motor cross from the age of four. He competed in local competitions and his first title was the Hawkes Bay champion in 2007. Among his list of honours are East Coast Champion,winner at the Canterbury Invitation, first at the Solo summer cup, he triumphed at the NZ under 21 championship and he was the
highest point scorer in NZ for the Inter provincial teams championship.
Wilson-Dean, who will be living with Eagles’ promoter Martin Dugard in Hassocks, added, “I was riding motorcross, a little four wheeler, before I could even talk it has always been in the blood.
I was riding motorcross, a little four wheeler, before I could even talk it has always been in the bloodBradley Wilson-Dean
“I have a few goals set for this season, I will tell you what they are when I achieve them. I am here to learn a little bit more about how it works and hopefully to get a couple of guest bookings in the Premier League. That would be pretty cool just to see how I go in there.
“I definitley want to progress into the Premier League next season and the Elite League the season after hopefully.
“But I’m up for it this year with the lads. The team looks really strong and I think the spirit will be good.
“Most of us have just met each other today but we are getting along real well already.”