DAN Halsey believes the Mildenhall Fen Tigers’ schoolboys can teach their National League opposition a thing or two this season.
The West Row outfit will start the season with three riders of school age after completing their line-up with the addition of British youth champion Nathan Stoneman, 15.
Fellow new signing Josh Bates and Mildenhall number one Cameron Heeps are also both just 16 as the Tigers look to build a reputation of developing exciting young talent.
“We have to give the young reserves as much encouragement as we can,” said Halsey, who is being widely tipped to have his best season to date in speedway. “Both the boys know what they are doing.
“I haven’t seen much of Nathan, but he is the British youth champion so he is going to be fairly strong.
“And from what I’ve seen of Josh ride, he’s a very promising talent.”
Halsey – whose side open against Dudley on April 8 – ended the 2011 in fine style for the Tigers and was an instrumental force in bringing the Knockout Cup to Mildenhall Stadium.
He top-scored with 12 points in the crucial cup final second leg against the Stoke Potters and again in the second leg of the National League final with 13+3 points against the Scunthorpe Saints when the Tigers were so close to a memorable comeback in their quest of the double.
With two new competitions to fight for this season — the National League Shield and National League Trophy — Halsey is determined to end the season with yet more glory.
“I’m confident we can be challenging for silverware again,” he said. “The five riders in the main team will all score points and can improve their averages.
“If one or both of the reserves does better than people expect then we are going to be in a very good position.”