The Eastbourne Eagles have been dealt a last-minute injury blow ahead of the new season.
Welsh-based rider, Adam Extance, has had to pull out of the squad, owing to the return of an old injury.
Team Manager Connor Dugard explained, "Adam had a very severe knee injury a couple of years ago.I knew it was bad but I didn't know it was as bad as it actually is until we got talking.
"He ruptured three of the four main ligaments in his knee, as well as destroying the top of his tibia which basically forms the joint that your knee sits in.
"After talking to Adam in more depth he explained how he also has no feeling in his right foot where the damage to the nerve happened. Unfortunately, he probably will never get that back. It took Adam 11 months to even be able to put his foot down to the floor, let alone the time to get back on a bike.
"It's a shame because he came down for a practice and the whole team were texting me saying how good the vibe was and how much everyone helped out - it was brilliant!
"There are no hard feelings between Adam and the club - I know what's he's been through and it isn't easy."
Extance explained, "When riding my motocross bikes etc I can manoeuvre my weight around a lot more; me and my dad even tried to change the right-hand foot brake on the bike as I couldn't really distinguish it with my foot.
"With speedway you have to put a lot of weight on that right foot and it was really hard for me. I didn't once feel comfortable at practice. I'm really sorry to let this great club, the sponsors and the fans down but unfortunately my health comes first and I know I have a lot more in the tank than what my body is showing, which is very upsetting for me."
Dugard is now urgently trying to source a replacement, “I've been scouring up and down the averages and past riders and we have just over five points to play with.
"You'd think with that I could get anyone in, unfortunately I can't see anyone yet. Nevertheless, we will find a replacement but it is unlikely it will be before our fans' afternoon on Sunday, which opens at 3pm.”