Speedway: Rebels return for Wilson-Dean
PUBLISHED: 08:01 03 December 2019
Somerset Rebels have confirmed that their number one for the start of the 2020 season will be the familiar face of New Zealander Bradley Wilson-Dean.
The Kiwi last rode for the Rebels in 2018 and comes into the side on his converted Premiership average, attained with Peterborough, as he did not race in the SGB Championship last term.
That means with a figure of 8.75 he will be wearing the number one race jacket to start with and team boss Garry May said: "The conversion rate has saddled Bradders with a premium average to start with and that will bring extra pressure on him, but once his rolling average kicks and with the likes of Rory [Schlein] and Ben [Barker] hunting down that number one spot I am expecting Bradley to move position.
"That said, though, I know that he will be working hard to try and live up to the conversion and it is absolutely great that he is coming back to the OTA.
"He is a rider that I have a good deal of time for. He is a great lad, works well with the fans and brings a lot of excitement when he is out on track.
"One thing for sure is, our team won't be left short of on-track effort this season and I feel too that we will have a good blend off it. Being able to bring Bradders back means a lot to me."
Speaking from his New Zealand home, Wilson-Dean's excitement about returning was clear to detect as he added: "It's a pleasure to be coming back to Somerset and I can't wait to see all of the fans there,
"Somerset is a special place for me after they gave me a start in the Second Division, so to be able to come back as number one next season is something I'm really looking forward to.
"I've been doing a bit of riding since I've been back in New Zealand. I've raced in one meeting so far and have the GP meeting this Sunday. I've practiced a couple of times and I've been getting out on my motocross bike and jet ski too, so am feeling good.
"I'm planning on being back in the UK at the beginning of March so I have time to get my bikes organised and get settled back in to life there before racing gets underway."
Wilson-Dean holds a place on the club's roll of honour having been voted the 2016 winner in the 20th Anniversary Season poll, but his last two campaigns in Britain have ended prematurely.
Last season he sustained a broken collarbone in June when riding for Peterborough and in 2018, as a Rebel, he underwent an operation for the removal of metalwork in his shoulder, so his last appearance for Somerset was on September 19 in the second leg of their knockout cup semi-final tie against Belle Vue.
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