NEWS Wednesday 2nd February 2022, 8:00am
Second man to be confirmed by the Devils for the 2022 lineup is Tom Woolley, a great favourite with everyone last season. It would have been a major surprise and disappointment if Tom hadn't been back, after his consistent displays earned him an average just under 8 and an ever-present record.
Tom said "I really enjoyed being with the Devils last year, everybody around the place is so welcoming. Such a friendly atmosphere from management to fans and everyone really – yes I really enjoyed my year. So I was keen to stay this year.
Tom wasn't totally happy with his progress. "I started the year off quite well, then I went through a bit of a lull for a few meetings which hindered a few things. But it started to come back towards the end of the season. So I need to find a bit more consistency and have a solid year all the way through and not just the start and end, or just through the middle."
Lack of regular racing is something that National League riders have to combat. "We ran a number of meetings early on behind closed doors, and the more meetings I had the better I felt on the bike. More confident. Then midway through the season when we had only a couple of meetings in a month or two months, it was like starting the season all over again. That's out of everybody's control, especially with Covid, and let's hope that this year things are clearer and easier to plan."
He isn't planning anything new on the mechanical front. "Just freshening a few things up and get engines serviced, we'll be ready for the start of the season.
Although not hugely experienced himself, Tom is the kind of personality who likes to do what he can for team mates. "I try my hardest, anything I do know I will pass on to the younger riders if they ask. I try to advise. I think the team bonded well last year, there was a good atmosphere and I don't think anyone found it hard to ask questions. Everybody gelled and nobody was shy in coming forward.
"I think you could see improvement in all the younger guys last year, especially Gregor (Millar) who came on leaps and bounds. George (Rothery) is such a good rider, he just needs to learn how to keep control for four laps, he doesn't need to win it all in the first one or two corners. He certainly has potential, and potential is there with the team.
"Although we finished fifth last year, if we had won that last away match against Kent which we were quite confident we could do, that would have meant we would have finished third. I think that's quite respectable when people were writing us off at the start of the season.
"I'm quietly confident that we can build on what we did last season."
Tom is an all-rounder on bikes, with success on flat track and motocross, but now concentrates on speedway and wants more of it. "I'd like to aim for Championship racing, Edinburgh gave me opportunities last year. I just need to start the season well and hope that someone might give me a chance."