BERWICK BANDITS (sponsored by New Holland Agriculture) will start the 2013 Premier League campaign without Ricky Ashworth.
The Berwick skipper is still suffering the after-effects of a high-speed crash at Edinburgh last weekend.
“We will not ask Ricky to rush back onto the bikes,” said club director George Hepburn.
“He has had a couple of bouts of concussion in short order recently and needs a bit of rest to recuperate.
“He has been to see a specialist near his Manchester home this week and we’ll listen to the medical report, as well as making sure he is ready, before any plans are made to bring him back on board.”
To replace Ashworth in the Berwick squad, at Shielfield Park this Saturday (7pm), a former favourite will be their guest at No 1 in the line-up. 32-year-old Kevin Doolan has been a popular and effective visitor at the Borders circuit several times since a spell with the Bandits in 2002.
“Having lost our last two home two matches – one away at Redcar too - in the very last race has been disappointing, to say the least,” said Berwick team boss Ian Rae. “But these were in other competitions. The Premier League is our major campaign, and PL racing only starts on Saturday night!”
The visitors are Sheffield Tigers, a club which has made a bright start to the season with a young, new-look squad.
Berwick ‘New Holland Bandits’: 1. Kevin Doolan (guest) 2. David Bellego, 3. Kozza Smith (captain), 4. Matty Wethers, 5. Robin Aspegren, 6. Alex Edberg, 7. Nicki Barrett
Sheffield Tigers: 1. Simon Stead (if fit), 2 Facundo Albin, 3 Joe Haines, 4. Richard Hall, 5. Ricky Wells, 6. Damian Koppe, 7. Jake Knight.