Eagles await final piece in the jigsaw

Denis Gizatullin
Denis Gizatullin

Eastbourne Eagles boss Trevor Geer said they are a whisker away from completing their line-up for the 2012 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.

The only rider not to remain is Danish flyer and last season’s number-one rider Bjarne Pedersen. Geer admitted it was a blow to see the Poole loanee depart to Birmingham but insists he has enough quality to cover the loss.

“We have a whole team of potential number-one riders. Cameron, Lewis, Lukas are all potential number ones so I think we are well covered.

“It was a shame to see Bjarne go and I’m glad to see he got fixed up with another club. He was a top man and an absolute pleasure to deal with during his time here.”

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.

Gizatullin is currently signed up for Polish side Polonia Bydgoszcz, Swedish outfit Hammarby and Russian League side Balakovo.

Geers said, “I cannot say at this stage. We are in talks with a rider and it is very close but we want everything signed before we make an official announcement.”

Meanwhile, Dryml will continue 2012 on a loan arrangement from Peterborough. The Czech Republican has recovered from a broken femur after a nasty crash at Birmingham last July. He will however ride with a large metal pin in his thigh.

Ironically, Dryml signed a temporary contract to ride for the Eagles in 2009 after the club encountered difficulties obtaining a British work permit for Gizatullin.

A fans’ forum and a staff meeting are will be held on February 19. The Press and practice day will be March 17 with the first Elite League fixture at home to Belle Vue on March 24.