Eastbourne get their Elite League 2011 campaign under way at Arlington tomorrow night (Saturday) and manager Trevor Geer believes the Eagles can challenge for honours this season.
Geer’s side host Wolverhampton, who finished in the play-off places last term.
They warmed up for the curtain raiser with a pair of challenge matches against Poole this week and home fans will hope Sunday’s 57-33 defeat of the Pirates is a taste of things to come.
Geer said, “Let’s hope we can tame the Wolves!
“We usually do well at Wolves and we certainly don’t want to lose our first league match at home.
“I’m hoping for a good crowd. I think people can see that we have got a good team this year and it will be worth supporting them.
“There will be some good opposition with Tai Woffinden, Peter Karlsson, Freddie Lindgren, they are tipped for the play-offs, the same as us really.”
The Eagles finished 2010 with a flourish, averting the threat of relegation and making it to the final of the Knockout Cup.
The off-season was beset by wrangles involving Peterborough and Coventry, neither of whom will ride in this year’s league. But it was a relatively quiet winter at Arlington.
Dane Bjarne Pedersen arrived from Poole as the new number one, Lewis Bridger returned to Sussex, while Joonas Kylmakorpi, Lukas Dryml, skipper Cam Woodward, Simon Gustafsson and Dawid Lampart were retained.
Geer added, “We just want to enjoy it, we’ve got a really fantastic team spirit, they just spur each other on really.
“If we can keep on going and stay injury free, we can get into the play-offs.
“Year after year we think this is the team that can challenge for something.
“But this year other promoters believe it too.”
Tapes up is 7.30pm at Arlington.
Line-up: 1. Pedersen, 2. Dryml, 3. Gustafsson, 4. Woodward (capt.), 5. Kylmakorpi, 6. Bridger, 7. Lampart.