CRADLEY’S big guns have been warned to expect a big challenge from former British Under 21 Champion Ben Wilson when Stoke visit Monmore next Tuesday.
The Potters include Heathens asset Jon Armstrong, who raced for the club in 2010 and 2011 and is still popular with supporters.
It’s a welcome return to home league racing for the Heathens, who have only had four meetings at their Monmore base all season thanks to rain.
They’re expecting a good turnout as speedway-starved fans look to see their side in action again.
Boss Will Pottinger said: “Stoke obviously have a good top end with the likes of Ben Wilson and Armo and our lads will be on their guard.
“I expect this to be a competitive meeting with Stoke looking to come here and put on a good show. I’m sure they will bring some supporters down the M6 with them too.
“From our perspective we will just be looking to put three more league points on the board to maintain our push for the play-offs.
“The lack of meetings has been frustrating although the lads have been busy with their other league clubs, but as a club we have been inactive which is a shame.”
Before Tuesday, Cradley head to Plymouth this Saturday to face league newcomers Devon with a 1.15pm start.
They will be without Steve Worrall who is riding for Edinburgh and the rider replacement facility will operate. Tom Perry starts at reserve.
And on Sunday, Heathens go to Mildenhall for the National League Pairs Championship and will be represented by Worrall and Max Clegg.
Paul Starke is unavailable due to a fixture clash with Somerset.
“It’s obviously disappointing for us to be without Starkie in the Pairs but Max can provide good support to Steve I’m sure,” said Pottinger.
“It’s frustrating for all of us when we have riders missing, but that’s the way it is and we have to get on with it.”
The club have announced only standard £10 tickets are remaining for the evening with club legend Billy Hamill next month.
All £25 VIP passes have been sold for the event, which has attracted the backing of Motor Market in Cradley Heath.
Hamill will appear for the evening on stage with broadcaster and joint Cradley owner Nigel Pearson at the Copthorne Hotel, Level Street, Brierley Hill on Sunday, July 27.
And he will be joined by former Heathens riders Alan and Andy Grahame, Anthony Boyd, Mark Robinson, Troy Pratt and his dad Colin, the former Dudley Wood boss.
Pearson said: “It’s shaping up to be a great night with Billy and friends. We are also expecting former Heathens riders Lewis Blackbird and Adam Roynon, who Billy has taken an interest in, to attend.
“All the VIP tickets have sold quickly but there is currently good availability on the standard tickets, I’m really looking forward to it and so is Billy.”
Tickets are available online at cradleyheathens.co.uk as well as the track shop on race nights and from the club shop at Printworx on Quarry Bank High Street between 10am-3pm except Wednesdays.