Bishop appointed as team manager
PUBLISHED: 08:13 04 December 2006 | UPDATED: 10:17 24 May 2010
WITH Mick Bell's decision not to carry on as team manager for the Somerset Rebels going forward into next year, club promoter Mike Golding has wasted no time in
WITH Mick Bell's decision not to carry on as team manager for the Somerset Rebels going forward into next year, club promoter Mike Golding has wasted no time in finding Bell's replacement, the new man at the helm being ex-Rebel favourite Steve Bishop."Steve was my first choice for the position and I am please he has accepted the role," explained a delighted Golding. "Steve is well respected in the South West as well as the sport as a whole, and should relate well to the riders."He will have full responsibility for team matters on race days and has been kept fully informed about team selection ahead of the new season."For many Rebel fans, Bishop is Mr Somerset Speedway, being a member of the team right from their birth in 2000, and will go down as the first Somerset rider to win a race in Rebel colours.In addition to Bishop's confirmation as team manager, the Rebels are delighted to confirm their next two signings, which will see the return to the Oak Tree Arena of Ritchie Hawkins, together with Jordan Frampton who will fill one of the two reserve berths.For Hawkins his signing sees him return to the Oak Tree Arena after spending a season away at Workington, a season that ended prematurely due to a serious head injury."I had a good chat with Mike Golding earlier in the week, and I must say that I am really impressed with his plans for the club going forward," explained Hawkins. "I have just moved house to the Poole area, so I will not have to face the long Friday night journey from Peterborough to Highbridge.Hawkins, the 2004 British Under-21 Champion, was a member of the Somerset team that successfully captured the Premier League Fours Championship in 2005 and comes into the Somerset team on a 6.40 average.Twenty-one-year-old Frampton came to prominence last season riding in the after meeting second half events at the Oak Tree Arena, impressing many with his performances, so much so that he was offered a team berth with Mildenhall towards the latter half of last season. "I'm really happy with the move to Somerset, I just love riding the track, and to be in the same team as a rider such as Zorro can only be to my long-term benefit." With Hawkins and Frampton joining Zetterstrom and Kramer as confirmed starters for Somerset next season, it leave just three team positions available, and the fans can look forward to further announcements in the near future.Following hot on the heels of the announcement of the 40-point limit for next season team building, new Somerset Rebels supremo, Mike Golding, has moved quickly to announce the first two rider signings, and they will receive the seal of approval from the Somerset fans.Returning to the Oak Tree Arena will be the Super Swede duo of Magnus Zetterstrom and Emil Kramer who were an integral part of the highly successful team last time.For Zetterstrom, it will be his third season with the Rebels, and as Golding explained, his signature for the 2007 campaign was a top priority."Zorro's record in 2006 speaks for itself, not only was he the undisputed top rider in the Premier League, he is a born leader and entertainer, and his inclusion in next year's team was a must."For Zetterstrom, the 2006 Premier League Riders' Champion, an early conclusion to his negotiations with Golding came as something of a relief: "After the season I've just had with Somerset, I really only wanted to return to the Oak Tree Arena for 2007, but in speedway you just never know what is going to happen."Kramer's signature for the new season is in stark contrast to this time last year when he was left without a team slot following the demise of Hull, only to answer the Rebel call halfway through last season as replacement for broken leg victim, Paul Fry. "It is so much easier to know ahead of the season that you have a team berth lined up," explained Kramer, "Prior to joining Somerset last season, I had only ridden seven meetings in Sweden, so I was not fully prepared, both on the equipment and fitness front. As well as securing Kramer's signature for the new season, Golding has also added the Swede to Somerset's asset base of riders by virtue of buying his contract from the BSPA.Having secured the services of Zetterstrom and Kramer, it is Golding's intention to have all seven riders signed before the Christmas holidays, leaving him free to concentrate on the planned stadium improvements ahead of the new campaign which commences mid-March.