Mildenhall Fen Tigers will be without the services of heat leader Josh Bates in their opening National Trophy fixture on Sunday.
Teenager Bates is to miss the defending National Trophy champions’ clash with the Stoke Potters at Mildenhall Stadium due to him being in Premier League action for the Scunthorpe Scorpions at Newcastle.
“Losing Josh on Sunday is a massive blow, but we knew with him also riding in the Premier League there would be times it would happen,” said Kevin Jolly, co-promoter.
“We will cover Josh’s rides by using rider replacement, but it does put us under a bit more pressure. The boys will have to react to it and I have every faith they can step up to the challenge.”
Despite missing Bates on Sunday, Jolly believes that the reigning National League champions can bounce back from their 45-41 defeat at home to Dudley Heathens at the weekend and register a first success of 2013.
Last season Stoke were the only side to beat the grand slam-winning Fen Tigers side at West Row when recording a slender 47-45 victory in their National League clash in August.
“Stoke will be another tough meeting for us on Sunday, like Dudley they have a side with a good spread of riders across the board,” said Jolly.
“It was not nice losing at home to Dudley but I am confident we can move forward on Sunday.”