Eastbourne Eagles boss Trevor Geer believes they have a whole team of potential number riders as they begin their preparations for the 2012 season.
Last year’s number one rider Bjarne Pedersen has left to join Birmingham but Geer insists the blow of losing the Poole loanee is cushioned by the quality of the riders that remain.
Geer said, “It came down to a tough choice. Either we lose two other riders or we had to let Bjarne go. He did tremendously well for us last season. He was the ideal man to have at number one but we felt it was the right move to make.
“With the likes of Cameron Woodward and Lewis Bridger we riders all capable of being the number one.
“I’m glad Bjarne got fixed up with a another club. He is a good man and was a pleasure to work with last season.”
The Arlington outfit, who finished runner’s up in the Elite League last season have already re-signed six of last season’s squad.
Skipper Cameron Woodward, Joonas Kylmakorpi, Lewis Bridger, Simon Gustafsson, Timo Lahti and Lukas Dryml all agreed deals.
They hope to announce their final signing early next week.
The new rider is expected to slot in at reserve alongside Lahti and sources close to the club believe it could be Russian rider Denis Gizatullin.
Geer has been tracking the Russian national team captain for a number of years.
The 28-year-old would be a new-comer to the Elite League and could arrive on a favourably average for the Eagles.
Geer said, “I cannot say at this stage. We are in talks with a rider and it is very close.”