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Youngsters Ready for Battle

Friday October 16, 2020 at 10:57am
Youngsters Ready for Battle

Great Britain bosses Olly Allen and Simon Stead believe the next generation will “fight” for medals in the FIM Monster Energy Speedway of Nations.

The GB team were dealt a massive setback when three-times World Champion Tai Woffinden ruled himself out of the finals in Lublin tomorrow (Friday) following his horror crash and hand injuries.

With talisman Woffinden out of the equation, it is left to European Champion Robert Lambert, fourth-placed World Under-21 star Dan Bewley, British Under-19 champion Drew Kemp and British Under-16 champ Jordan Palin to carry GB hopes.

With Lambert at just 22-years-old, Bewley 21, Kemp 18 and Palin 16, it will be the youngest team on parade in Lublin by some margin.

But Allen is adamant that the disappointment of losing Woffinden can be outweighed by a positive experience for the youngsters.

He said: “Naturally it is a massive blow to lose the current World No.2 in Tai. We would have been going to Lublin as one of the favourites for gold.

“But this is sport, this is speedway. You need to deal with adversity at all levels to find success. At some stage we will need to get used to life without Tai, it’s happened quicker than anticipated in this particular competition.

“However, we cannot sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. Far from it. This is a huge opportunity for heroes to be born and experience to be taken on. We believe the youngsters can step up to the plate.

“We must not forget that Robert is the European Champion, that was achieved in Poland earlier this year and he has had an excellent season. Dan has just finished fourth in the World Under-21 final and was top scorer in the World Team Under-21 final.

“I don’t see any reason why they cannot go to Lublin and get stuck in. We will continue the fight for a medal regardless.

“If you look down the years, World Team Cups have produced young heroes to win medals. We will have that attitude.”

Stead also believes that Kemp and Palin will absorb priceless experience from being part of the team that travels to Poland.

He added: “We have been hugely impressed with both Drew and Jordan over the past few weeks. They have acquitted themselves with high levels of professionalism during a tough season. They will learn so much in Poland.

“We have a great deal of belief in our next generation of stars. Tai’s injury has accelerated a chance for us to see what progress they have made and what more they need to learn.”

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