Tom Woolley completes Warriors’ 2020 National Speedway League team
Tom Woolley has been unveiled as the final piece of the Isle of Wight ‘Wightlink’ Warriors speedway squad for the 2020 National League season.
Woolley has been a regular visitor to the Island in recent years, a willing participant in various open meetings as well as a proven race winner in league action at Smallbrook.
Following the closure of Buxton speedway at the end of 2018, where he was club captain, Woolley was left without a ride at the start of 2019.
He secured a reserve berth at higher league Redcar and contributed to the Teeside team impressing at Championship level.
Wolley joins the Warriors as third heat leader on a 6.69 average carried over from his Buxton days.
‘Last year I only got into proper racing mid-season. Going to Redcar and stepping up was always going to be a tough ask and I learned a lot,’ Woolley said.
‘Realistically a return to them was unlikely - almost as unlikely me riding on the Island full time.
‘However, you only have to look around and see how many riders haven’t got a team so when I got the call I had a chat with my family and decided to go for it.
‘The Warriors can offer a full programme of regular weekly racing, I’ve always been treated well down there, and the club have a great reputation so I accepted their offer.’
Warriors co-promoter Barry Bishop said: ‘Tom has proved himself in this division and is competitive, reliable and, importantly, tough to pass when in position.’
Woolley makes up a the seven-strong Warriors team alongside Ben Morley, Connor Coles, Scott Campos, Chad Wirtzfeld, Macauley Leek and Connor King.
‘I do like the look of our side,’ Bishop added.
‘We have experience, youthful enthusiasm and a solidity that should stand us in good stead.
‘We have riders capable of improvement which, if achieved, should put us in contention for the major awards.’
Georgie Wood, Chris Widman and Danno Verge have been released from the team that finished sixth out of eight in the 2019 National League campaign.
‘Chris has decided to take a step back from speedway,’ explained Bishop. ‘The ever increasing demands on his time from his successful butchery business have really forced the decision.
‘He has been one of our most popular and dedicated riders, he deserves huge thanks.
‘In Danno’s case we just couldn’t find available riders to form a competitive team that accommodates him on his average.
‘It’s not the first time we have been affected by the annual team building average and it’s so difficult to tell one of our terrace favourites that they are not in our plans.’