High-flying Eagles set for return of a legend

Nicki Pedersen grand
Nicki Pedersen grand

Eastbourne Eagles’ quest to win the Elite League for the first time in over a decade remains very much on course.

The Eagles currently sit top of the country’s premier speedway competition after 13 meetings, with an imperious home record forming the foundation of their rise to the top.

The team are currently enjoying a two-week break after a hectic opening to the season, and boss Trevor Geer was thankful for the rest.

He said, “It’s worked out quite well really because we did have a very busy start to the year, so this past week has given us the chance to rest, get the equipment up to scratch again and start looking forward.

“We’ve got meetings with all the big teams coming up in the next few weeks so the boys know we’ll have to be at our best for the foreseeable future, starting with Nicki Pedersen and his Peterborough team on Monday night.”

Pedersen & Co will certainly provide Geer’s men with a stern test. Pedersen, a former Eagles rider, has been crowned world champion three times and won the World Cup with Denmark twice, and remains one of speedway’s biggest attractions.

Having worked with him before, Geer knows how dangerous a rider Pedersen can be.

“He’s a real world-class talent who is getting back to his best with every race. He’s still incredibly popular in these parts amongst speedway fans, so I’m sure we’ll get a big crowd down here at the Arlington to see his return. We’ve got some good riders who can push him all the way, and I’m expecting to see some terrific races between Nicki and our own Bjarne Pedersen.

“We can’t just focus on one individual though. If we take care of the rest of the Peterborough team then it doesn’t matter what Nicki does.”

Eastbourne could certainly do with a win on their return to action, with the likes of Poole, Birmingham and Kings Lynn all breathing down the Eagles’ neck at the Elite League’s summit.

Geer is still optimistic though that his side has what it takes.

He said, “We’ve had a great start to the season, although I was really disappointed with the little blip at home to King’s Lynn in our last game before the break.

“That lost us our unbeaten home record, and if we have ambitions of winning this league then we need to be winning all our home games.

“The crucial thing though is to make the play-offs.

“If we can do that, which we should be able to do given the squad we have here, then we’ll see how we get on.

“Once that happens it’s just about making sure you get a full team of riders out. If we can do that, I believe we can beat anyone.”