Eastbourne IT First Eagles plans have been rocked this morning by news that club captain and No 1 David Mason is ill.
The Eastbourne-based rider has flu and is suffering from chest pains.
It means he will not be able to ride in tomorrow’s opening match at Arlington against the Kent Kings.
Club director Connor Dugard moved swiftly and has brought in Dan Greenwood from Coventry Storm as a guest replacement.
Dugard admitted it was a big blow to the Eagles because Mason had helped so much behind the scenes in guiding the Eagles, once the club was accepted into the National League.
“An Eastbourne resident riding for the Eastbourne is perfect for us and, of course for David. We are both so upset that this illness will prevent him being on track and leading the IT First Eagles into their first match.
“The work has gone on night and day over the last few months to get us ready for the opening fixture and it is a blow we cannot track a full team for our first meeting.
“Illness happens, as we all know, and I am sure Dan will do a good job for us,” Dugard said.
Greenwood won the National League and KO Cup in 2013 with Dudley and was National League runner-up with Coventry Storm last year.
He was the Midland Riders’ Development League Champion in 2012.