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Blackbird ready to soar for Heathens
4:51pm Wednesday 6th March 2013 in Sport
LEWIS Blackbird, the man Heathens fans loved to hate, was given a standing ovation when he met supporters in Cradley Heath last week.
Blackbird battled against jetlag after a gruelling journey back from Australia to appear in front of 200 fans at the Liberal Club to launch the new season.
He’s made the switch from bitter rivals Mildenhall, who denied Heathens the title in controversial circumstances last season, and is excited by the prospect.
Blackbird said: “I’m well pumped for the season now.
“I’ve been doing a lot of training over the winter and my bikes are all ready now. I’m all set to go so I can’t wait .
“I was riding at Pinjar in Perth. I did quite a few practices and some meetings over there. I did the King of Pinjar meeting where I finished fourth, so I did pretty well there.
“So I had a good time, got a bit of practice in and I feel good ahead of the season.
“I’m hungry for success, and I want to do whatever I can for the team to make sure we do well.
“I think it will help me riding in the Premier League, going up against some fast riders every week. It’s all extra track time as well which will help me in both leagues.
“I didn’t do that well in the Premier League last year, so I want to up my average in that league as well as with Heathens in the National League.”
Blackbird was delighted with the response from supporters when he walked on stage.
He said: “The fans were great, they all cheered me on which was what I was hoping for.
“There has been a bit of rivalry between me and the Heathens fans over the last couple of years, but it’s all in good fun.
“It’s been good to get together with the team as well and we have all been gelling together well.
“Hopefully that continues to grow through the season and we can end up taking the title together.
“I’m going to help the younger guys in the team. I wouldn’t say I’m the most experienced even though I’m the oldest, but I’m definitely going to try and help them along wherever I can.
“We’ll all muck in together and try to get a good team spirit going.”
Blackbird was excused from Saturday’s team activities to recover from his marathon journey back at his Cambridgeshire home.
The rest of the Heathens took part in a clay pigeon shoot in Worcester organised by main team sponsor Dave Burns of Recycled Aggregates.
And in the evening the club enjoyed a meal and entertainment at a hotel.
They are hoping to get some track time together before their first meeting of the season at Coventry in the Travel Plus Trophy on Friday, March 22.