Friday May 13, 2022
LEICESTER launch their new National Development League campaign with the visit of Belle Vue to the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena on Saturday (7pm).

The Lion Cubs have had to wait for their season to get underway but are now set for a busy run with five matches in an eleven-day spell, including a trip to Iwade to face Kent on Sunday lunchtime.

Connor Coles, Vinnie Foord and Max Perry all make their Cubs debuts against the Colts, joining the Thompson twins, Tom Spencer and Mickie Simpson who all return from last year.

Perry becomes the youngest rider in the league this season having just turned 15 at the end of April, meaning he is now eligible to compete at this level.

Belle Vue have raced three meetings so far, and are also fancied to enjoy a strong campaign, where the initial aim is to finish in the top four with play-offs back on the agenda this season.

The Colts raced to a big home win over Plymouth but have also been beaten in away matches against the Gladiators and also at early pace-setters Berwick.

The visitors are led by Jack Smith, son of former British Champion Andy, and have brought back the talented McGurk brothers from last year whilst also adding Nathan Ablitt, Archie Freeman and youngster Freddy Hodder.

Jack Parkinson-Blackburn is currently declared as withholding services, and the Colts will operate rider-replacement in his place.

Cubs boss Dave Howard said: “As always, as well as building a team to see if we can challenge for honours, focus in the Lion Cubs’ team-building is again also on young riders.

“The fixture planning has been timed to start when all of our seven riders were available, and it’s a busy schedule particularly between now and the end of July.

“Many teams have strong top twos and others have great strength in depth, and the Belle Vue Colts will certainly provide a tough challenge.”

Supporters are reminded that admission is free for season ticket holders, and four riders – Spencer, Simpson, Foord and Perry – will be available for photographs and autographs at the main entrance gates between 6.15-6.30pm.

LEICESTER: Dan Thompson, Mickie Simpson, Connor Coles, Tom Spencer, Joe Thompson, Vinne Foord, Max Perry.
BELLE VUE: Jack Smith, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn R/R, Nathan Ablitt, Sam McGurk, Harry McGurk, Archie Freeman, Freddy Hodder.

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