The Eastbourne Eagles hit the road in the National League tonight (21 April), with the long trip to Plymouth.
The team sets out in great spirits, having lifted by the Lee Richardson Memorial Trophy on Good Friday against old rivals Lakeside.
Plymouth is very much a voyage into the unknown for both Eastbourne as a club and most of the riders.
In recent decades, there have been no matches between the two clubs, although there will be one familiar face to greet the Eagles when they walk into the pits on Friday night.
Richard Andrews, who rode for Eastbourne in the first part of last year and in the inaugural National League season in 2015, is now captain of Plymouth.
On the opposite side of the coin, Eastbourne track Mattie Bates, who learned much of his speedway at the Devon track.
Eastbourne No 1, the experienced Mark Baseby, admitted he had not been to Plymouth very much but is telling his team-mates to “bring their gating gloves with them” as making sharp starts is one of the keys to success.
Connor Dugard, Eagles’ team boss, said, “Plymouth away represented a tough opening for the club’s league campaign.
“It is new territory for us but we set out with one intention and that’s to win. We want to get points on the board right from the off in what looks set to be a highly competitive National League this year.”
Eastbourne are at full strength for the trek west: Mark Baseby, Kelsey Dugard, Connor Coles, Mattie Bates, Georgie Wood, Charley Powell and Tom Brennan.