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old bob at herne bay

National League 2021 - has it been abandoned?

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Going back to the NDL and its rider developmentsuccess or failure - for me there needs to be a clear distinction of what success means. For example, there are riders who will always make it regardless (Gilks, Brennan, Edwards, Bewley, Lambert, Pallin), those that enter the NL on 3.00 and leave on 9 plus.. they would have made it regardless of the league structures or if there was only second halves after main meetings and amateur meetings available to them.

For me success or failure of the NDL is whether those riders who perhaps have to work a bit harder (I dont know a different phrase for this and I am not suggesting that those who will make it regardless have not or do not work extremely hard for their success and indeed I am sure it always contributes to it), for example here Danny Ayres, Ben Morley, Alfie Bowtell, where participating in the National league really made a huge difference to them and was probably the only way the made it to higher leagues.

Can we say in 2021 any middle order riders at the start of the league are now able to make the step up? This is where the NDL should really come in to its own for rider development in my view, for riders like Spooner, Verge, Coles to really give them the step up they need to Championship but also a "challenging" cushion in the NDL for confidence and experience. And the only other option is to have a properly MDL/NJL formated and enforced second teams to run, without fail, after every league meeting by every UK club. 

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8 hours ago, barrybishop said:

Going back to the NDL and its rider developmentsuccess or failure - for me there needs to be a clear distinction of what success means. For example, there are riders who will always make it regardless (Gilks, Brennan, Edwards, Bewley, Lambert, Pallin), those that enter the NL on 3.00 and leave on 9 plus.. they would have made it regardless of the league structures or if there was only second halves after main meetings and amateur meetings available to them.

For me success or failure of the NDL is whether those riders who perhaps have to work a bit harder (I dont know a different phrase for this and I am not suggesting that those who will make it regardless have not or do not work extremely hard for their success and indeed I am sure it always contributes to it), for example here Danny Ayres, Ben Morley, Alfie Bowtell, where participating in the National league really made a huge difference to them and was probably the only way the made it to higher leagues.

Can we say in 2021 any middle order riders at the start of the league are now able to make the step up? This is where the NDL should really come in to its own for rider development in my view, for riders like Spooner, Verge, Coles to really give them the step up they need to Championship but also a "challenging" cushion in the NDL for confidence and experience. And the only other option is to have a properly MDL/NJL formated and enforced second teams to run, without fail, after every league meeting by every UK club. 

And a next level that doesn't have the majority of riders that ride as heat leaders in the top tier...

The level currently from step three to step two is too big, as basically in reality it's not far off going from step three to step one in one move...

Having one or two experienced old heads from the tier above in most teams brought the riders on and gave them an idea of what the next level looked like...

Now you can go from learning your craft, gradually improve and move up, and be facing riders who just represented Team Great Britain in a test match v Poland...

Edited by mikebv
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22 hours ago, barrybishop said:

Going back to the NDL and its rider developmentsuccess or failure - for me there needs to be a clear distinction of what success means. For example, there are riders who will always make it regardless (Gilks, Brennan, Edwards, Bewley, Lambert, Pallin), those that enter the NL on 3.00 and leave on 9 plus.. they would have made it regardless of the league structures or if there was only second halves after main meetings and amateur meetings available to them.

For me success or failure of the NDL is whether those riders who perhaps have to work a bit harder (I dont know a different phrase for this and I am not suggesting that those who will make it regardless have not or do not work extremely hard for their success and indeed I am sure it always contributes to it), for example here Danny Ayres, Ben Morley, Alfie Bowtell, where participating in the National league really made a huge difference to them and was probably the only way the made it to higher leagues.

Can we say in 2021 any middle order riders at the start of the league are now able to make the step up? This is where the NDL should really come in to its own for rider development in my view, for riders like Spooner, Verge, Coles to really give them the step up they need to Championship but also a "challenging" cushion in the NDL for confidence and experience. And the only other option is to have a properly MDL/NJL formated and enforced second teams to run, without fail, after every league meeting by every UK club. 

I would describe success as those riders that go on from the NDL to make a career out of Speedway. It really depends on what the NDL is supposed to be "developing" is it developing international class riders capable of becoming World Champion, it's never going to do that on a consistent basis or is it developing riders to fill league positions in the upper leagues to sustain the sport in this country? For me it should be the latter and if you look at the position the upper leagues are in this season you'd have to say it has failed. We had "the perfect storm" this year of Covid travel restrictions and Polish league rider limitations and when British speedway should have been pulling on the resources of the riders that have been "developed" over the last 10 years there was very little there, hence absolutely ludicrous levels of doubling up/down.

In another thread I took a look at the number of riders that were riding in the NDL 10 yeas ago that went on to have what you'd call a career in the sport and the number was alarmingly small, something like 10%, so the numbers would say that the NDL is a failure despite the "headliners" of Woffy, Lambert, Bewley & Brennan etc. That doesn't mean to say it's a bad league, I don't know, I've never seen an NDL match and don't really take too much interest in it. The problem really lies with the routes or progression into the upper leagues where the promoters are still more likely to choose a foreign rider or a double up/downer than go with an NDLer as the rules allow it.

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On 10/23/2021 at 11:13 AM, barrybishop said:

Going back to the NDL and its rider developmentsuccess or failure - for me there needs to be a clear distinction of what success means. For example, there are riders who will always make it regardless (Gilks, Brennan, Edwards, Bewley, Lambert, Pallin), those that enter the NL on 3.00 and leave on 9 plus.. they would have made it regardless of the league structures or if there was only second halves after main meetings and amateur meetings available to them.

For me success or failure of the NDL is whether those riders who perhaps have to work a bit harder (I dont know a different phrase for this and I am not suggesting that those who will make it regardless have not or do not work extremely hard for their success and indeed I am sure it always contributes to it), for example here Danny Ayres, Ben Morley, Alfie Bowtell, where participating in the National league really made a huge difference to them and was probably the only way the made it to higher leagues.

Can we say in 2021 any middle order riders at the start of the league are now able to make the step up? This is where the NDL should really come in to its own for rider development in my view, for riders like Spooner, Verge, Coles to really give them the step up they need to Championship but also a "challenging" cushion in the NDL for confidence and experience. And the only other option is to have a properly MDL/NJL formated and enforced second teams to run, without fail, after every league meeting by every UK club. 

Interesting points but if your suggestion that every club should run ‘ second teams ‘ next year just where are the clubs to find these riders ?

British Youth Championship field isn’t the size of pre 2019 levels especially youth 500 level ( less than 6 riders ) Amateur meeting entries are down at the few tracks that run them ( 3 or 4 tops?) especially in the youth and 125 categories on pre COVID years, half of the entrees aren’t upto safe ‘ racing ‘ standards ( not decrying them but some are old timers just having a ride , others are complete novices who can’t slide around a complete corner ). There simply isn’t enough competent new riders to make up such teams and there’s been no new flow of kids getting on speedway bikes in the last two years for obvious reasons.

whilst a structured third tier is essential, let’s be realistic about how many new riders are taking up the sport….very, very few.

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19 hours ago, Fortythirtyeight said:

Interesting points but if your suggestion that every club should run ‘ second teams ‘ next year just where are the clubs to find these riders ?

British Youth Championship field isn’t the size of pre 2019 levels especially youth 500 level ( less than 6 riders ) Amateur meeting entries are down at the few tracks that run them ( 3 or 4 tops?) especially in the youth and 125 categories on pre COVID years, half of the entrees aren’t upto safe ‘ racing ‘ standards ( not decrying them but some are old timers just having a ride , others are complete novices who can’t slide around a complete corner ). There simply isn’t enough competent new riders to make up such teams and there’s been no new flow of kids getting on speedway bikes in the last two years for obvious reasons.

whilst a structured third tier is essential, let’s be realistic about how many new riders are taking up the sport….very, very few.

Just to correct you there, I dont suggest that every team should have second teams. But it's an option that could be further evaluated.. My personal thoughts is that I know that it wouldn't work partly due to rider numbers but also, like always (and 2nd halve were supposed to happen this year too) second team racing isnt valued by many promoters sadly leaving those who can see its potential out on a limb with next to no support.

 

22 hours ago, iainb said:

I would describe success as those riders that go on from the NDL to make a career out of Speedway. It really depends on what the NDL is supposed to be "developing" is it developing international class riders capable of becoming World Champion, it's never going to do that on a consistent basis or is it developing riders to fill league positions in the upper leagues to sustain the sport in this country? For me it should be the latter and if you look at the position the upper leagues are in this season you'd have to say it has failed. We had "the perfect storm" this year of Covid travel restrictions and Polish league rider limitations and when British speedway should have been pulling on the resources of the riders that have been "developed" over the last 10 years there was very little there, hence absolutely ludicrous levels of doubling up/down.

In another thread I took a look at the number of riders that were riding in the NDL 10 yeas ago that went on to have what you'd call a career in the sport and the number was alarmingly small, something like 10%, so the numbers would say that the NDL is a failure despite the "headliners" of Woffy, Lambert, Bewley & Brennan etc. That doesn't mean to say it's a bad league, I don't know, I've never seen an NDL match and don't really take too much interest in it. The problem really lies with the routes or progression into the upper leagues where the promoters are still more likely to choose a foreign rider or a double up/downer than go with an NDLer as the rules allow it.

I think @arnieg said earlier that every british rider in the top two leagues, except Scott Nicholls had gone through the third tier of the sport. I guess if what you say is correct that only 10% of NDL riders make a carrer out of the sport then our higher leagues need to consider the options that are opened for UK rider, vice international riders for our UK based teams.

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21 minutes ago, barrybishop said:

Just to correct you there, I dont suggest that every team should have second teams. But it's an option that could be further evaluated.. My personal thoughts is that I know that it wouldn't work partly due to rider numbers but also, like always (and 2nd halve were supposed to happen this year too) second team racing isnt valued by many promoters sadly leaving those who can see its potential out on a limb with next to no support.

 

I think @arnieg said earlier that every british rider in the top two leagues, except Scott Nicholls had gone through the third tier of the sport. I guess if what you say is correct that only 10% of NDL riders make a carrer out of the sport then our higher leagues need to consider the options that are opened for UK rider, vice international riders for our UK based teams.

Did you enjoy your afternoon at Lydd yesterday Barry. It was a bit chilly, but a good day out.

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10 minutes ago, cityrebel said:

Did you enjoy your afternoon at Lydd yesterday Barry. It was a bit chilly, but a good day out.

yes really enjoyed it. I always learn things when I visit tracks across the country and having ridden a Lydd over the years it was great to observe and learn. All in all, a great day out for me and a pleasure to watch many of the riders that have helped us on the Island this year on their local track.

Malc and his team do a great job down there. I particularly liked his bowser set up and is something that I am sure we could do on the island as well to help us with the track in the build up to race day.

What I didnt like was the M25 on the way back... took forever, but was well worth the trip.

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1 hour ago, barrybishop said:

I think @arnieg said earlier that every british rider in the top two leagues, except Scott Nicholls had gone through the third tier of the sport. I guess if what you say is correct that only 10% of NDL riders make a carrer out of the sport then our higher leagues need to consider the options that are opened for UK rider, vice international riders for our UK based teams.

It's not very scientific but here are the British riders used in the PL & CL in 2021:

1 Adam Ellis  
2 Anders Rowe  
3 Ben Barker  
4 Charles Wright  
5 Chris Harris  
6 Connor Mountain  
7 Craig Cook  
8 Daniel Bewley  
9 Danny King  
10 Danyon Hume  
11 Drew Kemp  
12 Jordan Palin  
13 Kyle Howarth  
14 Leon Flint  
15 Lewis Bridger R
16 Lewis Kerr  
17 Paul Starke  
18 Richard Lawson  
19 Richie Worrall  
20 Stefan Nielsen  
21 Steve Worrall  
22 Tom Brennan  
     
1 Adam Roynon  
2 Alfie Bowtell  
3 Archie Freeman  
4 Ashley Morris  
5 Ben Morley  
6 Dan Gilkes  
7 Dan Thompson  
8 Edward Kennett  
9 Henry Atkins  
10 Jack Parkinson-Blackburn  
11 Jack Smith  
12 Jack Thomas  
13 Jake Knight  
14 Jake Mulford  
15 James Sarjeant  
16 James Shanes  
17 James Wright  
18 Jason Edwards  
19 Joe Alcock  
20 Joe Lawlor  
21 Joe Thompson  
22 Jordan Jenkins  
23 Josh Auty  
24 Josh Bates R
25 Kyle Bickley  
26 Kyle Newman  
27 Luke Crang  
28 Luke Ruddick  
29 Max Clegg  
30 Nathan Ablitt  
31 Nathan Greaves R
32 Paul Hurry R
33 Ryan Kinsley  
34 Simon Lambert  
35 Tom Bacon R
36 William Lawson R

At least 6 of these riders have "retired". There's 42 team places available in the PL and 84 team places available in the CL. You could probably thin down the CL list as not all of these riders will have done anywhere near a full season.

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