MILDENHALL Fen Tigers skipper Lewis Blackbird is joining Premier League Leicester – but after talks between the clubs he will still be riding for the West Row outfit.
Blackbird has revealed he was on the verge of having to leave Mildenhall to make the move happen due to fixtures coinciding but things have now been sorted so he will only miss one meeting for the Tigers.
But while Blackbird has become the first rider to double up this season, with Cameron Heeps also riding for the Ipswich Witches, Stefan Nielson is now set to relinquish his ride for Scunthorpe to concentrate on the Tigers full time.
Blackbird said: “After guesting for Leicester a couple of weeks ago they liked what they saw and asked if they could sign me.
“At one point it looked like I would have to leave Mildenhall, as nine meetings clashed, but after talks between the promotions it’s worked out really well and, as long as the weather doesn’t lead to problems, the only meeting I’ll miss for the Fen Tigers will be the match against Buxton (July 21) when I’ll be riding for Leicester against Cameron, who will be riding for Ipswich.”
Meanwhile, Tigers’ co-promoter Kevin Jolly, who has dismissed reports they are due to sign a Polish rider, is concerned they may be unable to fulfil their fixtures in this year’s National Trophy due to a backlog of league and cup meetings.
With the wet weather playing havoc with the club’s fixture list, it has seen the West Row outfit take part in just two National League meetings since the beginning of June.
Last Sunday’s intended home clash with the Stoke Potters was the latest meeting to fall victim to the weather with the club calling off the fixture at around 10.30am that morning.
“The rained off meetings have had a big effect on us. In a way it feels like the season for us has not really got going,” said Jolly. “We are looking at different options to re-arrange meetings and both Michael and Nicky Lee are working very hard trying to track people down from other clubs to tie up dates for these postponed fixtures.
“I can see that the National Trophy fixtures with Stoke, Buxton and the Isle of Wight may have to be dropped though to get the other fixtures in.”
On Sunday, weather permitting, the Suffolk side are scheduled to face the Isle Of Wight in a National League encounter at West Row.
Should the meeting beat the weather, it would be the first time the side have ridden at home since defeating the Rye House Raiders in a National League clash on May 27.
Jolly said: “I would like to think we would win by at least 10 points on Sunday but we will have to dig deep having not ridden at home for so long.”
This Sunday’s meeting will see new signing Joe Graver, 15, make his home debut in full Tigers colours for the injured Nathan Stoneman.
Meanwhile, Joe Jacobs is expected to mark his return to action since recovering from a broken wrist sustained during the club’s National Shield second leg clash with the Dudley Heathens in May.
n One fixture that has been re-arranged is the club’s National League home clash with the Buxton Hitmen. The meeting orginally scheduled for June 24, will now take place at 7pm on Saturday, July 21.