NEWS Thursday 29th April 2021, 7:30pm
Not long now till the Stellar Devils are in action, at the Armadale practice on Friday and down at Berwick in a National Development League match the next day.
The team will be, we hope, a solid unit, but it could be looked at as made up of an experienced trio and an inexperienced quartet. We have already introduced on here the (relatively) experienced guys Nathan Greaves, Danny Phillips and Tom Woolley, and today we get some brief thoughts from the four riders who will start the season on 3 points.
They are Sheldon Davies, George Rothery and the Millar boys Lewis and Gregor - the two Scottish members of the side. Last time the Armadale Devils rode a full team match at Armadale, 16 years ago, all seven were Scots!
For LEWIS and GREGOR MILLAR from Falkirk, it is a long-awaited chance to race at National League level.
Elder brother Lewis is 23 and set for the challenge. "I'm looking forward to the season and I'm really up for it. I have the right mindset I think. I must admit in the last couple of seasons I have sometimes thought 'It's only a second half' but I know I'm ready to take this chance.
"Friday will be a chance for us to get together as a team. I have talked to Sheldon a few times and also George but I don't know the others so well.
"We'll do our best at Berwick, they are a good team and it's a tough track if you haven't been there for a couple of years, but I'm ready for the challenge, really up for it."
Gregor (17) stressed that it is all a very new experience for them with no previous National League experience. "I'm looking forward to it, I'll see what it's all about! I have been to Berwick before but the track has changed so we'll have to take that into account.
"I think we have a good Devils side though having said that I don't really know! We'll see what happens.
"I've been to Redcar twice for practice and we've just been sorting out an engine. Things are starting to come together."
Will there be a brotherly rivalry to see which of them can do best? Gregor says no: "I don't have any rivalry with Lewis, I like it when we both do well."
Many observers believe that Cumbrian GEORGE ROTHERY (22) could be one of the surprise packets of the league. His past record includes impressive performances in the northern junior events, and he was the only rider to head William Lawson at any stage of last season's Caledonian Riders Championship.
He said "I'm looking forward to riding with the Devils and to our first match at Berwick. I've ridden there before, quite a few years ago, and had a serious crash, but I did like it.
"I'm happy to have Armadale as my home track because I like smaller tracks, I can get round them easier!
"Nobody has ever asked me before to ride in the National League, and when I got to the point when I thought I was ready, a serious crash stopped me taking it further.
"It will be good to get together with the team on Friday."
For SHELDON DAVIES (20 from Wombwell), he is just delighted to have a team place!
"I can't wait - it's been so long. I've been practicing but you can only practice so much – I can't wait to race. I've done a couple of practices at Scunthorpe, I've done King's Lynn and I was at Redcar last weekend.
"After King's Lynn I was a bit down but after Redcar I feel my confidence is up. Michael Palm-Toft came along and I was working with him at the starts. I'm trying to improve them and with his help my confidence is up.
"I haven't been to Armadale before, being from Barnsley it's a long way but I can't wait to get up there on Friday. I've been speaking to or messaging my team mates recently – I've ridden with the Millar brothers at Redcar, I've ridden against Tom and Danny in the National League. I've never actually ridden with Nathan so that will be interesting. He doesn't live far from me.
"This will be my third season in the National League and it's the first time I've actually started the season with a team rather than being on the sidelines. So I'm really looking forward to being part of the team from the start."
You can watch the opening Armadale Devils home fixture against Berwick Bullets live on EMTV on Friday 7th May from 7:30pm.
Read all about the live stream and how you can watch here: