Bears announce 2019 team
By James Boothby
Monday 17 Dec 2018 11:10:00
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Redcar Ecco Finishing Bears tonight announced the remaining six members of their new look 2019 side, subject to BSPA approval.

With young Aussie star Jordan Stewart already confirmed a couple of weeks ago, the rest of the side was unveiled by promoter Jitendra Duffill in front of a packed house at the Bears Bar. And it is a new look side for 2019, with only two of the septet from 2018 returning. Joining Stewart is two-time Bear of the year, and arguably one of the most entertaining riders around the Media Prima Arena, Ben Barker. Returning for his third season as a Bear, he comes in on a 6.87 average and will take the third heatleader spot.

Coming in as Number 1 for next season is popular Dane Michael Palm Toft, who spent last season at Peterborough in the Championship. He is a rider who always goes well at Redcar, and scored 17 points in one meeting at Redcar for Peterborough last season. He will come in on a 7.96 average, and is aiming to improve that: “My aim for next season is stay at number 1, up my average and win some Silverware with Redcar!”

Joining as the second heatleader is Charles Wright, who spent the 2017 season with Redcar before moving to Sheffield last season. Charles had a good season with Sheffield, winning the 2018 pairs, and will come in on a 7.88 average to form a powerful trio with Palm Toft and Barker.

Coming in as a second string is a rider who had a great year last season in both the Championship and National League, Tom Bacon. Indeed, Bacon finished top of the National League averages with a superb 10.20 average, and comes in on a 4.55 average this season. He is another rider who has had some impressive scores at Redcar, with a 9+2 score last season.

Coming in as the senior reserve is another promising Brit, and another rider who had a short spell at Redcar last season in Nathan Greaves. He also spent last season riding for Wolverhampton in the Premiership, and comes in on a 3.99 average.

Joining Greaves at reserve is another young Brit making his way in the sport, Jack Smith. Jack rode for Swindon, Sheffield and Belle Vue in the 3 leagues last season, and will join on a 2.73 average. Jack finished top of the Belle Vue averages last season in the National League, and should be one of the stronger number 7’s in the league.

Full team:

Michael Palm Toft (7.96)

Charles Wright (7.68)

Ben Barker (6.87)

Tom Bacon (4.55)

Jordan Stewart (4.09)

Nathan Greaves (3.99)

Jack Smith (2.73)

Total – 37.87

Redcar Bears new number 1 Michael Palm Toft has finally made the move to the Media Prima Arena, and admits he is here to win! MPT, who comes in with a 7.96 average after a good season at Peterborough, has always gone well around the Teesside track and say’s it was not a difficult decision to come to the North East:

“It was an easy choice for me, as it’s a track I like riding. My aim for next season is to stay at number, up my average and win some silverware with Redcar!”

It was the chance to win some Silverware which tempted MPT to join the Bears, and admits the ambition of the Bears was the first question he asked promoter Jitendra Duffill when he first made contact:

“It was a big question to Ben when he rang me, what the aim was for the team he was putting together. I want to win, not just ride and get paid. I think we have got a good team that is more than capable of being up there.”


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