AUSTRALIAN sensation Cameron Heeps has had his bid to ride for the Mildenhall Fen Tigers blocked by the British Speedway Promoters’ Associtaion (BSPA), the Bury Free Press understands.
The 15-year-old landed in Great Britain with his family last week in the hope of being able to line up for Sunday’s National League Knockout Cup first round first leg encounter with the Hackney Hawks.
However, the Tigers were informed on Saturday that Heeps would not be eligible to ride competitively, leaving the teenager sidelined for the foreseeable future.
Heeps, whose visa states he can live, work and be educated in this country, said: “It’s been a hard time, but a lot of hard work has gone into it. We’re finally here and hopefully it works out all right.
“This is about learning. I want to learn as much as I can, do as best as I can and hopefully it will turn out for the best.”
The BSPA were unavailable for comment this week, while the Tigers’ promoters were understandably coy on what has developed into an extremely delicate situation. It is possible that legal routes may now have to be explored.
However, co-promoter Michael Lee said the National League outfit remained committed to resolving the situation as soon as possible.
He added: “We are not going to give up. Cameron and his family are here and they want to gain experience.”
Heeps was allowed some track time on Saturday – when he took part in the Tigers’ first academy session – and on Sunday – when he showed off his skills to the Mildenhall Stadium crowd following the Tigers’ 60-32 demolition of Hackney.
That 28-point margin should see Mildenhall comfortably through to a National League Knockout Cup semi-final against the Isle of Wight Islanders when they defend it at the Hawks’ Rye House home in the second leg tomorrow (7pm).
Team manager Robert Henry admitted he was left “knocked out” by his side’s display, which was even more impressive in the absence of injured captain James Brundle.
“We doubled the lead I expected us to have and we are more than confident about going through,” said Henry. “I can’t see any reason why we should let that lead slip.
“But the boys can’t rest on their laurels – they’ve still got to go out there and do their job because Hackney will be strong at Rye House.”
Number six Nick Laurence, who scored just 2+1 in Sunday’s first leg, has been dropped and his position – which is set to be taken by Heeps – handed to 15-year-old Adam Portwood. Brundle – whose leg became infected following a cut received when guesting for the Ipswich Witches last Thursday – is set to be declared fit for tomorrow’s second leg.
n Jack Hargreaves and Lewis Blackbird will represent the Tigers in this year’s National League Best Pairs at Newport on June 18.