BIRMINGHAM Brummies head to Leicester on Saturday night for their opening fixture of the 2022 season (7pm).
The Curtis Sport Brummies do battle with their East Midlands Rivals in the first leg of their Knockout Cup tie with the return at Perry Barr on Wednesday, April 6 (7.30).
New captain Ashley Morris and James Shanes are back with the side for a third straight season in the second tier, while No.1 Claus Vissing and fellow heat-leader Josh Auty will also pull on the famous red and yellow racejackets again, both having had previous spells with the club.
Former double British under-19 Champion Stefan Nielsen will make his Birmingham debut, whilst Aussie teenager James Pearson lines-up for his first meeting in British Speedway.
As announced on the day he signed, latest recruit Adam Ellis is unavailable due to a prior French League racing commitment – Birmingham have drafted in Ben Morley as their unattached replacement for the first leg.
Team boss Laurence Rogers said: “After a long, stressful few months it will be great to see the Brummies back out on track with everything that’s gone on over the winter.
“It won’t be easy that’s for sure – going to Leicester never is.
“Stewart Dickson [Leicester team manager] has built another strong looking side there this year and he’s always hungry for trophies.
“It’s a shame Ad’s missing on Saturday but we already knew he couldn’t make that date when we signed him.
“We’ve had to call on Ben Morley for this one and I’d like to think he could do a good job for us down at reserve on Saturday.
“Ben has a good reputation around Leicester; he’s won the National League Riders’ Championship there and he’s scored some good points there with Kent too.
“For the rest of the team, it’s going to be good for them to get out there as a group because there’s a long season ahead.
“We’ll just try and keep it as close as we possibly can so that we give ourselves a chance on aggregate of progressing into the next round when they come to Perry Barr in a couple of weeks time.”
LEICESTER: Nick Morris, Connor Mountain, Kyle Howarth, Dan Thompson, Richie Worrall, Anders Rowe, Joe Thompson.
BIRMINGHAM: Claus Vissing, James Shanes, Stefan Nielsen, Ashley Morris, Josh Auty, Ben Morley, James Pearson.
Meanwhile tickets for the season opener at Perry Barr on Wednesday (March 30, 7.30) against a Coventry Bees Select side are available online via: https://www.trybooking.com/uk/events/landing?eid=26420&