Eagles TO AIM FOR euro glory

Cam Woodward'� Mike Hinves 2011
Cam Woodward'� Mike Hinves 2011

Eastbourne Eagles will compete alongside some of the best teams in Europe as they enter into the inaugural FIM Speedway Club Championship next year.

The Eagles earned a place in the competition after securing second spot in the Elite League last term. They will be joined by King’s Lynn and Elite League winners, Poole.

However, both Eastbourne and King’s Lynn have announced that subsequently they will be withdrawing from the 2012 domestic knock-out cup competition due to insufficient dates on the 2012 calendar.

Eagles promoter Mike Bellerby said, “We know the fans will be disappointed. We are too, bearing in mind the Eagles’ long tradition of being a successful KO Cup outfit.

“We are certain our fans will take to this new competition and enjoy seeing their team taking on top teams from Europe. It is fantastic that we can be in at the start of this new competition and is a great reward for our efforts in last season’s league.”

It has been revealed following the speedway’s annual general meeting that the same 10 teams will compete in the Elite League with a team-building limit of 41 points.

However, this domestic league limit may not apply for the FIM Speedway Club Championship as Eastbourne Eagles will compete against teams not subject to the same restrictions.

The six Eagles that will start the season currently total 36.32 points and team manager Trevor Geer said, “I was quite happy with the 41 points.

“We might be allowed to strengthen or the Swedish and Danish tracks might have to come down a bit, we will have to see.”

The event, which is expected to take place in early season, will see the Eagles test their strength against leading teams from Sweden and Denmark but not from speedway-mad Poland.

The powerful Poles have opted out of the European competition but Eagles’ Geer believes they will change their minds after watching the competition take place around them.

He also believes the Club Championship will add a little something extra to the Elite League as clubs will have something more to fight for with qualification into Europe up for grabs.

Eastbourne are eagerly awaiting the final details for the Championship and are fine-tuning their team in preparation.

Geer said, “We have to bring in somebody but the last thing we want to do is lose riders like Simon Gustafssosn, Cameron Woodward and Joonas Kylmakorpi.”

Team news for 2012 and details of admission prices for the new season should be confirmed by Christmas.