Next year’s riders revealed

IN front of a packed Oak Tree clubhouse, the Somerset Dickies Rebels announced the names of the seven riders who will represent the club in the forthcoming 2011 season.

IN front of a packed Oak Tree clubhouse, the Somerset Dickies Rebels announced the names of the seven riders who will represent the club in the forthcoming 2011 season.

The septet will see four riders from the 2010 side return for another year at the Oak Tree Arena, namely Cory Gathercole, Sam Masters, Christian Hefenbrock and James Holder.

For Gathercole, 2011 will represent his third season as a Rebel, whereas the other three are back for what will be a second successive season with the club, albeit both Holder and Hefenbrock joined the club part-way through the 2010 campaign.

With the return of this quartet, it means that the 2011 Somerset side will have three new riders in its ranks. These being Dakota North, who spent last season with Newcastle with whom he won the Premier Trophy and KO Cup, Kyle Hughes and Travis McGowan.

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The latter moving to the Oak Tree Arena after a year with Glasgow, his debut season in the Premier League having previously raced in the Elite League for the likes of Swindon, Reading and Oxford and will spearhead the Rebels attack from the number one position in the team.

“I am really delighted with the team that we have put together for next year,” said Somerset promoter Debbie Hancock, “and it was very well received by the fans who were there to hear the announcements, which was emphasised by the number of season tickets we sold following the conclusion of all seven riders being named.

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“Obviously it is now quite a while for us all to wait for the start of the new season, but if the enthusiasm of the fans tonight is anything to go by, then next March cannot come soon enough.”

? At a recent meeting of the board of Oak Tree Arena Promotions Limited, the company formed to promote the Somerset Rebels, the chairman Mark Saunders resigned due to a difference of opinion over the 2011 team selection.

Mr Saunders will remain a sponsor and supporter and with his family intends to attend every home fixture. A new chairman was unanimously appointed and is Brendan Steer, a local solicitor.

Mr Steer says that the contribution of Mark Saunders over the recent years to the Somerset Rebels, both financially and otherwise, has been invaluable. The board wished to make it quite clear that they are delighted that Mr Saunders will remain a sponsor and supporter.

The promoter will be Debbie Hancock and she will be assisted by Garry May, who has been involved with the team for some time, with Steve Bishop remaining as team manager.

? Somerset’s Sam Masters celebrated the announcement that he will be remaining with the Rebels in 2011 by finishing second in the New South Wales Under-21 championship that was held at Tamworth recently.

Going into the meeting as the current holder of the title and one of the favourites, the 19-year-old had to give second best on the night to eventual winner Richard Sweetman, who regained the crown he last won three years ago.

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