Skipper Danny Halsey has tipped teenager Nathan Stoneman to bounce back from being dropped by the Mildenhall Fen Tigers.
The 2011 British Under-16s champion has failed to repeat last year’s stunning displays since returning from a broken leg that he suffered at Scunthorpe last June.
But having been dropped himself during his speedway career, Halsey has rallied round Stoneman with his fellow Tigers teammates to encourage the 16-year-old to come back better than ever.
“It’s a shame for the lad because last year it was going so well for him and he showed loads of potential,” said Halsey, 24. “But because of his crash and not being able to practice over the winter with his broken leg, coming back to the National League has been difficult.
“Once he gets a few laps under his belt and does a few second-half meetings, the sooner he will get better, which will be for the benefit of the team.”
Ryan Terry-Daly will replace Stoneman, filling in for the Tigers like he did last year as the West Row-based outfit won the grand slam.
Mildenhall chairman Kevin Jolly admitted dropping Stoneman was ‘one of the hardest things’ he had ever had to do after the Welsh youngster managed just a solitary point in the Tigers’ 58-34 loss at the Isle of Wight Islanders in the National Trophy on Tuesday.
The Suffolk side have three meetings in as many days this weekend, with vital trips to Stoke Potters tomorrow (7pm) and Kent Kings on Monday (6.30pm) to try and keep their National Trophy hopes alive.
Sandwiched between, they host Coventry Storm at Mildenhall Stadium on Sunday (4.30pm) in the second leg of their National Knockout Cup tie.
The Tigers hold a two-point lead, but they could be without in-form Jon Armstrong, who suffered a knee injury in the defeat at the Isle of Wight.
Twelve points from guest rider Adam Ellis, as well as double-figure contributions from Josh Bates (10+1) and Danny Halsey (10), helped the Tigers win 47-45 at Coventry in the first leg on Friday.
Before their hammering by the same opponents on Tuesday, Mildenhall edged a 47-42 home win over the Isle of Wight at West Row on Sunday.
Armstrong, who welcomed a baby daughter into the world last week, notched 13+1 to keep up his record of being paid double figures in every meeting he had ridden this season up until being injured across the Solent on Tuesday.