Highly-rated teen star Josh Bates joins Mildenhall

MILDENHALL Fen Tigers have completed their sixth signing for the 2012 National League campaign by snapping up highly rated teenager Josh Bates.

MILDENHALL Fen Tigers have completed their sixth signing for the 2012 National League campaign by snapping up highly rated teenager Josh Bates.

The 16-year-old from Yorkshire impressed the club when he attended the Mildenhall Academy last year, and put pen to paper at the weekend. He is being managed and mentored by Louis Carr who played a big part in getting Josh to line up for the Fen Tigers.

Co-promoter Michael Lee said, “We can’t thank Louis enough for making this deal happen. The fact that someone of his status has taken Josh on board shows the potential he has, and Louis is as convinced as we are that he has got what it takes. I know he stood out when he came down to West Row to attend the Academy and we are delighted that he is the first rider to come through and earn a team place. He has been getting in plenty of practice at Scunthorpe during the winter, and considering he has only started riding 500cc bikes in the last few weeks, is doing exceptionally well already. He has been practising with Ashley Birks and is already clocking times not much slower than him. He has a fantastic mentor in Louis and I am delighted he felt that we were the right club for Josh to start his professional career with.”

The youngster has made startling progress since first getting on a 125cc speedway bike at the start of 2010. He moved up to a 250cc bike in June 2010, before taking part in the 2011 250cc British Championship and finishing fourth. As well as competing in the British championship Josh rode in the amateur summer championship at Scunthorpe, which he won, and also competed in the 250cc world championship in Sweden.

Bates’s arrival leaves the Tigers with one slot to fill for the new season, with Cameron Heeps, Lewis Blackbird, Daniel Halsey, Stefan Neilsen and Joe Jacobs the other confirmed starters. Lee said, “We are looking at a number of options for the last spot and will make a final decision next month, after we’ve held some open practice sessions at West Row. We are delighted with the team as it stands and I’m confident we are in for another successful season.”

Supporters will get their first chance to meet the team and hear from the promotion about the new season on Saturday 18th February, when the club will be holding a ‘Meet the Riders Night’ in the Fenman Bar at West Row starting at 7pm. More details will be announced in the next week.

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