Georgie Wood has been given a statutory 28-day ban from Friday, August 30, for his failure to ride in recent meetings for his National Development League Club, the Isle of Wight Warriors.
The suspension, applied by the BSPA Management Committee, also applies to his appearances for the Eastbourne Fineprint Eagles.
Eastbourne Speedway said in a statement: “We have no option but to accept this sanction and have been granted a ‘facility’ to cover for Georgie during the 28-day period.
“We understand the reasoning and logic of the decision and have no issues with the Promotion of the Isle of Wight, nor the BSPA Management Committee, whose actions we respect fully.
The club added that the Eagles has been aware that Georgie had been struggling with nerve injuries affecting his back and neck, that can be traced back to a fall around a year ago at Arlington in the National League.
The ban was notified to Eastbourne, and came in to effect at midnight on Thursday, August 29th – after the deadline for the Eagles to declare the final 1-7 for the season.
The club management added: “Had it been decided upon, or announced sooner, we may have considered making a rider signing and amending our declared 1-7 but this is not now possible.
“We will use the rider replacement facility, granted by the BSPA for both us and the Isle of Wight for Georgie in all matches during the 28-day period.”
The club has spoken to Georgie who “has our full and unqualified support”.
“He has decided to take a break from racing in order to sort out his speedway related injury and associated health issues that are deeply affecting him and impacting on his family at this time.
“Georgie feels that he is not able to focus on his speedway racing, nor give it the physical, emotional and time that he feels that the supporters who back him so passionately deserve.
“Speedway as we know can be a dangerous sport and under the current circumstances we support Georgie 100% in his brave decision,” the club statement said.
Eastbourne Fineprint Eagles will make no further comment but will give Georgie every encouragement and opportunity to explain his situation when he is fit and ready to do so, and we would ask that you respect his and his family’s privacy until that time.
The management of Eastbourne Fineprint Eagles have been involved in feverish activity for the past few days as the deadline for formulating the final 1-7 Team
Declarations passed at midnight on Wednesday, August 28, with the revised team to come in to force from fixtures staged on and after the August 31.
The biggest concern has been the fitness of Alfie Bowtell following a dislocated knee and severe ligament swelling during the match against Newcastle on Sunday, August 18.
Bowtell subsequently missed the home fixture against Redcar last Saturday (August 24) and has seen specialists this week for scans and assessment and has a further appointment and diagnosis.
The Rules of the BSPA allow teams to change their declared 1-7 but to bring in riders who are injured back in to the 1-7 after the deadline, so it would be possible for Alfie to return, even if his place was taken by another rider.
Following a detailed assessment of riders available in the UK and Europe who met the necessary average and qualifying criteria, and contact and conversations with a number of exciting options (Eagles cannot sign any rider requiring a Work Permit during the first year of trading as the Promotion is a new business in terms of UK and EU employment guidelines) it was decided to make a move to sign Danyon Hume, who is an asset of Ipswich Witches.
Danyon has Championship experience with both the Witches and Birmingham Brummies. He has performed impressively at Arlington in the past and currently rides for Leicester Lion Cubs in the National Development League.
Terms have been agreed with Danyon and his parent club (Ipswich) were happy to sanction the move. The change has been notified to the BSPA in a revised 1-7.
However, at the time of writing the BSPA have not yet ratified the signing due to a new rule (not in the rule book) that prevents riders already signed to NDL clubs being prevented from signing for higher Division Clubs IF there are Fixture clashes that impact on the long held rule that Championship Fixtures take priority over NDL Fixtures.
A Club spokesman said: “We have to respect that decision but have formally appealed to The Directors of the BSPA and await an adjudication”.
The Eagles have moved quickly to book fit again Charlie Brooks to ride in the No 7 slot whilst the appeal is being considered and the Club will give an update on the appeal as soon as it is heard.
On Saturday the Fineprint Eagles face Sheffield at Arlington Stadium (7.30pm start).
Eastbourne: Edward Kennett, Rider replacement for Georgie Wood, Kyle Newman, Lewi Kerr, Richard Lawson, Jason Edwards, Charlie Brooks, No 8: TBC.
Card Machine issues at Arlington Stadium
As mentioned yesterday (29th August), there is a major fault affecting a local Transmitter (various mobile telephone networks) around Arlington that we have no control over and cannot guarantee will be rectified for the Meeting against Sheffield.
We would therefore strongly suggest to all spectators attending the meeting against The Sheffield Tigers on Saturday, that they bring a Cash Payment Option with them. Full details regarding the issue can be found here.
Image Credits: Mike Hinves & Tiffani Graveling Photography