EASTBOURNE welcome back newly crowned British Under-21 Champion Tom Brennan when they face Leicester at Arlington today (Sunday).
Brennan won the national title at Redcar on Friday and is assured of a massive reception from Eagles fans, having been club mascot in the early 2010s and gained much of his speedway education at his local venue.
The home side are without Drew Kemp due to a Polish commitment and have declared Nathan Ablitt to guest, subject to fitness, whilst Scott Nicholls stands in for unavailable Leicester No.1 Hans Andersen. The visitors hand a debut to new signing Zaine Kennedy.
Eastbourne co-promoter Lee Kilby said: “It’s another big match for us and another huge test for all our lads.
“Last-heat deciders have been the story at Arlington this year and another one on Sunday would be no surprise.”
Lions boss Stewart Dickson said: “It’s going to be tough there, but I’d like to think there is an opportunity for us.
“Obviously at the very least we want to be coming away with a point, and hopefully more than that.”
The meeting is followed by a National Development League clash between the sides, with 15-year-old Vinnie Joe Foord making his debut for the home side with skipper Richard Andrews unavailable.
Kilby explained: “We had an option to use rider replacement with Vinnie at No 8. However, had we used RR for Richard, he would have been ineligible for NDL matches next Friday at Belle Vue and at home to Kent next Saturday.
“Therefore, Vinnie will ride in the No.2 position as an ‘unattached three-point rider’, as an unattached three-point rider has to ride in positions 2, 3 or 4 in the team.”
EASTBOURNE: Richard Lawson, Kyle Newman, Edward Kennett, Tom Brennan, Lewis Kerr, Jason Edwards, Nathan Ablitt.
LEICESTER: Scott Nicholls, Zaine Kennedy, Kyle Howarth, Ryan Douglas, Nick Morris, Dan Thompson, Joe Thompson.
EASTBOURNE SEAGULLS: Jake Knight, Vinnie Joe Ford, Connor King, Joe Alcock, Danno Verge, Nick Laurence, Nathan Ablitt.
LEICESTER LION CUBS: Dan Thompson, Ben Trigger, Joe Lawlor, Tom Spencer, Joe Thompson, Kai Ward, Mickie Simpson.