Eastbourne Eagles fans’ revival hopes soar after night with stars

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Eastbourne Eagles, who last rode in 2021 before a financial collapse brought down the shutters on their Arlington Stadium appearances, will be back on track this season.

An Eagles side will face old rivals Kent at Iwade, near Sittingbourne, in a six-a-side, 15-heat challenge match on Sunday April 14 (2pm).

There will also be an Eastbourne team at Poole for the Kyle Newman testimonial, a four-team tournament likely to take place in June.

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The news of Eagles' track comeback emerged at Saturday's well-attended supporters evening at Langney Sports Club, organised by the Save Eastbourne Speedway Group.

Jason Edwards, Drew Kemp, Kevin Coombes (interviewer), Kyle Newman and Ed Kennett | Picture: Tiffani GravelingJason Edwards, Drew Kemp, Kevin Coombes (interviewer), Kyle Newman and Ed Kennett | Picture: Tiffani Graveling
Jason Edwards, Drew Kemp, Kevin Coombes (interviewer), Kyle Newman and Ed Kennett | Picture: Tiffani Graveling

Former Eagles Jason Edwards, Drew Kemp, Newman and Ed Kennett all spoke in wide-ranging interviews conducted by Kevin Coombes in front of an audience of around 150 supporters.

The one-time Arlington announcer also talked to former riders Keith Pritchard and Barney Kennett.

Vinnie Foord, the Leicester National Development League starlet who lives at Hailsham, close to Eagles' former Arlington Stadium home, is the first Eagles rider named for the Kent match. He was also at the supporters function, along with 14-year-old prospect Tia May Brant.

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Eagles' hope of a full-scale return to Sussex remain on hold but spokesman David Graveling said: "Our campaign is gathering strength. To have that kind of turn-out on a cold, wet February evening was amazing, and highly encouraging.

"Now we have the prospect of the Eagles back in action. A lot of people are getting behind us and public awareness is rising. People want their speedway back and we won't be giving up the fight."

There was applause during the evening in memory of Eagles icon Gordon Kennett, who died last year, and Mick Norris, father of Arlington favourite David Norris, who passed away recently.