AFTER an anxious wait, fans of the Isle of Wight Wightlink Warriors will be delighted by the news top level speedway will be roaring back at Smallbrook Stadium next year.

This year has been a particularly successful one for Island speedway, having won top club accolades for most improved club in the National Development League and the World Speedway Riders’ Association’s community club of the year award, which they retained after winning it last year.

Isle of Wight County Press:

The Warrior’s promotional duo of Barry Bishop and Martin Widman emerged from the reconvened National League AGM to confirm the Island club will continue racing in the third tier of British Speedway alongside six other teams.

It will be the fifth successive season under their managerial partnership.

Following the demise of the Stoke and Cradley clubs after this season ended, social media had been awash with rumours the National League may not operate in 2020 — especially after the same AGM had been unexpectedly adjourned.

However, club bosses were able to allay fans’ fears by declaring it will run from April, with the addition of Edinburgh club, Armadale, newly welcomed into the league structure.

Bishop said: “The opportunity to provide a platform for meaningful, competitive action for up and coming riders, has been preserved with the development nature of the competition being honoured.”

Isle of Wight County Press: Isle of Wight speedway co-promoter, Barry Bishop.Isle of Wight speedway co-promoter, Barry Bishop.

The 2020 teams alongside the Warriors and Armadale will be Belle Vue, Kent Kings, Leicester, Mildenhall Tigers and Plymouth Pirates.

Teams will build their line-ups to a 39-point limit, with the lowest average set at 3.00.

The National Trophy and Knock Out Cup competitions have also been retained.

There will be some exciting changes to the National Trophy format, put forward, in part, by the Island club.

In the Knock Out Cup, the Warriors know already they will be facing Leicester.

But two meetings sure to draw national attention will be an early season round of the British U21 Individual Championship at Smallbrook — a big deal and honour for the club — as well as the National League Pairs Championship, which will be held on a date next summer yet to be confirmed, with a Saturday night staging being actively pursued by Bishop and Widman.

Speaking after the AGM, Bishop added: “I’m very pleased to confirm our award-winning Warriors will again be an integral part of the National Development League and we are already planning a full season of weekly action.

“Sadly, we have lost two clubs, but it is fantastic to welcome an Edinburgh-based team at our level.

“It will be a delight to take an Island team north of the border in search of league points.

“With the increased points limit also coming into operation, we will be accelerating our team-building work, while paying close attention to the ongoing needs of the Isle of Wight Wightlink Wizards in the Development League.”