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A long time in coming - Stellar Devils get back on track!

NEWS Friday 30th April 2021, 2:00pm

by Graham Muncie

Man is it good to be back!

It's a double welcome back on Saturday as not only do we see the first league action on British shale in 18 months, but it is also the long-awaited return of the Armadale Devils! A return that has been more than a year in the making and unbelievably over 15 years since a Devils outfit last took to the track in the 3rd tier of British speedway.

OK it is not quite the return everyone was hoping for with no fans allowed as of yet but speedway is back and the Devils are back and that is something to be excited about.

First up for the Stellar Devils is a tough looking trip down the A1 to recently remodelled Shielfield to take on another newly formed outfit the Berwick Bullets.

It is fantastic to see Berwick take the plunge and enter a team in the National League as well and it will be great to see some local derbies of sorts in the north east with Newcastle also due to line-up in the division.

The promotion at Berwick have been at the fore of developing talent in the last couple of years and very much like our own Devils a framework is now in place to move riders form youngsters all the way up to the Bandits Championship line-up.

With that in mind the spearhead of the Bullets team is an exact match for the lower end of the Bandits squad with Leon Flint and Kyle Bickley leading the way. There won't be a more potent spearhead in the National League with both looking to take the next step having experienced Championship level action before and the hope for everyone in the borders will be that the confidence of big scores in the National League will translate to increased Championship scores also.

Backing up the Flint/Bickley duo is a mix of youth and a bit more experience, Ryan MacDonald is well known on the northern speedway scene and he surely will be looking to kick on now that a settled and reasonably local team spot is his.

Greg Blair and Ben Rathbone make up the remainder of the engine room of the outfit with Blair in particular an interesting prospect having returned to competitive action after a few years away.

The reserve spots are made up of Kieran Douglas and Mason Watson both will be looking to make progress and as the season progresses you would not be surprised to see them take a few scalps.

For the Stellar Devils the team is as expected and more info can be found on the recent 'Meet the Devils' feature on the club website. All will be raring to go though and should be fresh and loose after a practice session at Armadale on Friday night.

Pease remember while no fans will be in attendance this match is available to live stream with details on the Berwick website so why not get yourself sorted with the stream and shout on the boys from the comfort (and warmth) of your home living room.

I for one can't wait to do so, it's great to be back!

*Please note the Stellar Devils are aware of the social media blackout that Speedway GB is taking part in this weekend and after discussions with the relevant parties it has been agreed they will join this from 10pm on Saturday so as to allow all build up and news from Shielfield to be made public.