Belle Vue are now ready to tackle the upcoming National League season following confirmation that 2012 British Grasstrack Champion Andy Mellish will fill the final spot in their brand new side.
He assumes his role as one of the two Cool Running Colts‘ reserves opposite Daniel Bewley, a newcomer to speedway who made the switch from motocross some six months ago.
Spearheaded by No.1 Matt Williamson and his fellow heat leaders Rob Shuttleworth and Lee Payne, the squad is then completed by second string youngsters Tom Woolley and David Holt.
Mellish, a popular man around the Manchester area, has been a familiar sight in the Belle Vue pits for many a year, most recently in fact with the club under their Midland Development League guise.
The 31-year old, who lives locally in Tameside, admitted he was surprised by the offer to represent the side in the National League but at the same time he was visibly thrilled with the opportunity.
Team manager Steve Williams, who has worked extensively with Mellish in the MDL, believes he is more than capable of doing the job expected of him when the season kicks off in March.
He said: “Part of the philosophy behind the Colts is that we want riders who want to ride for us and who already have that Belle Vue connection, and those are traits all of the lads riding for us share.
“Andy is no different and we‘re delighted to give him the chance to ride for the Colts in the National League. He‘s a great guy to have around and we believe he’ll be a great asset to the team.
“His substantial background in grasstrack has translated into several commendable performances on the shale and has also afforded him quite an extensive knowledge of the mechanical side.
“Last year especially we witnessed a considerable improvement in his riding, and for all the effort and loyalty he has put into this club over the years he absolutely deserves his chance to step up.“
With less than two months before his new team takes to the track for the first time, Williams says he‘s confident the Cool Running Colts can make an impact on the National League table.
He continued: “We‘re very happy with the team weíve put together. They‘re a great bunch to work with and each individual is more than capable of increasing their averages over the coming year.
“Having that mix of youth and experience will play a key role in our development as the season progresses, and it gives us every reason to believe weíve got what it takes to be competitive.
“This is a new track at the end of the day and itís as fresh to us as it is for everyone, but we‘re keen to settle ourselves in quickly and I think once we have things will really start to come together.