Monday December 16, 2019
LEICESTER will defend both of their National League trophies next season.

The Roger Webster Lion Cubs, who included local youngsters Dan and Joe Thompson, emulated their senior colleagues in sweeping to a Double with league and KO Cup success in a sensational debut campaign in the third tier of the sport.

And they will be back to go for glory once again in 2020, as part of a seven-team league competition which includes a new entry from north of the border as Edinburgh track a team under the Armadale banner.

The Lion Cubs have been drawn against the Isle of Wight in the KO Cup semi-finals, with the aggregate winners to take on Mildenhall or Plymouth in the Final.

Club bosses are now working on their line-up, which will be built to a points limit of 39.

The full National League press release is below:

BRITISH Speedway’s National Development League will come to the tapes with seven clubs next season.

The third tier AGM was concluded on Monday where substantial work was completed in order to balance the needs of stand-alone sides and those who operate in the NDL in addition to their senior outfits.

The league is delighted to welcome the Armadale Devils as a new entry for 2020, bringing regular NDL racing back to Scotland, whilst regrettably losing Cradley Heath and Stoke from the competition due to their publicised stadium issues.

Armadale join stand-alone clubs Isle of Wight, Mildenhall and Plymouth along with Belle Vue Colts, champions Leicester Lion Cubs, and Kent – who remain in the NDL alongside their entry to senior Championship level.

The stand-alone clubs will compete in all three full team competitions, whilst Leicester will also defend the KO Cup, and two major events will also be coming to each of the stand-alone venues.

The points limit for NDL team-building rises to 39.00, and a change from last season sees the elimination of the 2.00 minimum average, which has now reverted to 3.00.

NDL Clubs: Armadale, Belle Vue, Isle of Wight, Kent, Leicester, Mildenhall, Plymouth.
NDL Format: 1 home, 1 away – play-offs to decide the league title for the top four.
NDL KO Cup semi-finals: Leicester v Isle of Wight; Mildenhall v Plymouth.
NDL Trophy: Isle of Wight, Mildenhall, Plymouth (1 home, 1 away)

MAJOR EVENTS (Dates to be confirmed)
NDL Riders’ Championship: Mildenhall
NDL Pairs: Isle of Wight
NDL Fours: Plymouth
There will be three British U21 qualifiers in 2020, these to take place at Isle of Wight, Mildenhall and Plymouth.

* Immediately prior to the meeting, the away team manager will select two races between Heats 5 and 12 inclusive where the highest-averaged rider from each team in that race will start from a 15-metre handicap.
* Between Heats 5 and 12 inclusive (except for the races pre-selected as above), an additional tactical option is available to a team six or more points in arrears who can, on one occasion, select gate positions for the following race.

British Speedway Chairman Rob Godfrey said: “A lot of hard work has gone into the arrangements for the National Development League, and as an association we are very keen to preserve the three tiers of British Speedway.

“We have had to strike a balance between the interests of the stand-alone clubs and those who run in the NDL in addition to their senior teams, and we believe the outcome of the AGM is that those needs have been met for all clubs involved.

“I’d like to thank all the clubs for their co-operation. It is a big commitment especially for those who are running two teams, and it is particularly pleasing to see NDL racing returning to Scotland, so I congratulate the management at Edinburgh on taking their place at this level.

“We were very keen to ensure the additional meaningful fixtures that stand-alone clubs require beyond the regular league programme, and the various events that are heading to those venues means that should prove to be the case.

“The NDL is a highly valued division in British Speedway and I am sure we can look forward to another excellent year of racing in 2020.”

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