Taylor upbeat as Devils close in on filling squad
PLYMOUTH Devils are on the verge of unveiling riders to fill the two remaining spaces in their squad for the 2013 Premier League campaign.
Devils, who are recovering from a protracted takeover which nearly saw the city speedway club go under, have already named five riders for next season.
They are declining to name the final two until contracts are signed, although it is believed terms and conditions between the two riders and the club have been agreed verbally.
Plymouth have spent two seasons in the Premier League so far. In the first year, they finished second-bottom, while last season they were marooned in last place.
Devils, because of their league position, failed to even make the competition for teams who finished outside the play-offs.
Next season's number one is highly-rated Ty Proctor, who will be doubling up for Elite League side Wolverhampton Wolves.
Also signed are Australian team manager Mark Lemon and Poole Pirate Ricky Kling.
Lemon (above centre) is a Newcastle Diamonds rider with more than 20 years' experience.
Last season's team captain, Cory Gathercole, will be returning to the St Boniface Arena in the same role.
Joining him is Todd Kurtz, arguably the most improved rider for Devils in 2012, who will start at reserve.
Ashley Taylor, who is joint promoter with former Devils captain Seemond Stephens, said: "We've got a good team as it stands – the other two are in the pipeline and it's not far from being done, but it's not official yet."
Devils nearly went under recently because of doubts over obtaining a long enough lease from St Boniface College, who own the land on which the Devils' home track stands.
After intensive negotiations, a two-year lease was agreed.
Devils were bought by a consortium after former owner Mike Bowden put the Premier League club on the market.
Taylor was recently accepted as joint promoter of the Devils by the British Speedway Promoters' Association, the sport's governing body. He has been involved in speedway since he was a schoolboy and is currently behind a scheme to resurrect the sport in Cornwall.
The club's promoters and team manager Lee Trigger have made it clear that finishing bottom of the Premier in 2013 is not an option.
Taylor, however, believes Devils have a good team for next season.
He said: "We've got a good team and we want to get to the Premier League play-offs.
"There's 13 teams in the league and you've got to get in the top six, which I believe is perfectly possible.
"What we've got to do is win our matches at home. I think it's going to go very well."