LIONS NAME 2019 SQUAD
Great Britain have named their 2019 squad, featuring last year’s Monster Energy SON heroes Tai Woffinden, Robert Lambert and Craig Cook.
22 / 02 / 2019, 12:22
World Championship runners-up Great Britain have named their 2019 squad, featuring last year’s Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations heroes Tai Woffinden, Robert Lambert and Craig Cook.
The trio are joined by Chris Harris, Dan Bewley, Richard Lawson, Danny King, Adam Ellis, Steve and Richie Worrall and Kyle Howarth in representing the Lions on and off the track this year.
This group will then be narrowed down to three seniors and two under-21s for the Monster Energy SON.
The objective is to have a close-knit squad pushing each other and working towards everyone being the best they can be.
The 2018 silver medallists line up in Race Off 2 at Manchester’s National Speedway Stadium on May 11, taking on Denmark, Australia, USA, Finland, France and Latvia for one of three places at the Finals in Togliatti on July 20 and 21.
But GB managing director Rob Painter insists his list of 11 is open to further additions as Lions bosses keep a close eye on the nation’s top juniors and any other stars that make the grade.
He said: “This squad announcement is being made after careful analysis between GB team manager Alun Rossiter, GB under-21 team manager Neil Vatcher and GB rider coach Olly Allen.
“It’s an important starting point for us I think. But what’s also important to say is Great Britain staff will be very closely monitoring results and rider performances.
“It’s very much the case that if a rider’s form merits him being included in the GB squad, the door isn’t closed.
“The important thing is getting that blend right and putting riders with genuine potential as close to the most successful riders we have to see if everyone can learn a bit from each other and the squad can develop over time.
“In addition to this squad, we will be working very closely with eight to 10 riders from the under-21s and a few seniors who haven’t been mentioned in the squad. They will also be invited along to train with the GB team.
“We will work very closely with Neil Vatcher and there is genuine excitement about the under-21 riders coming through. We do feel there will be a real core of youth in the not-too-distant future making up the majority of the GB squad.”
Painter hopes some friendly competition will bring the best out of this year’s Lions. He said: “The objective is to have a close-knit squad pushing each other and working towards everyone being the best they can be.
“We want to get these guys bouncing off each other and competing with each other, so they want to beat their colleagues as well as have that close relationship.
"We want to bring that squad together so we bond as a national team and I hope to see genuine competitiveness for places within that squad.
“We’re selecting the squad for our on and off-track activities and to have a day-to-day involvement with. The team manager will then have to pick the squad that will be part of the Speedway of Nations.
“I think we’ll be a strong five-man squad. I look forward to seeing what that SON side looks like.”