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CYCLE SPEEDWAY: Devlins pull out of chase.

COVENTRY Devlins Newsagents have withdrawn from the race to sign British, European and world cycle speedway champion Dave Helnsley.

The Leicester-based rider - considered the best-ever in many quarters - had been involved in a three-way winter transfer chase between Premier League champions Wednesfield, Leicester and Coventry.

Coventry had substantial sponsorship in place to fund the deal, but team manager Steve Bromwich has withdrawn his interest - in favour of Coventry's brilliant array of junior talent.

"We have shown interest in signing Helnsley - he's a superb rider - but he is nearing the end of his career, " said Bromwich.

"I have opted to bring on our own emerging junior stars such as Myke Grimes, Matthew Lawrence and Ashley Pointer who have all won first team races."

Coventry club chairman Gary Pointer said: "Foremost in our aims when the club was revived last season was the recruitment and projection of junior riders.

"We have achieved this objective in spectacular fashion. All of our many young local riders will have every opportunity to progress at first team level."

Coventry have, however, swooped to sign city-based former British junior champion Dave Frith from arch local rivals Leicester.

The 35-year-old former Whitley ace will once again team up with life- long friend Ray Oliver in the Coventry ranks.

Frith, who won the 1983 British junior crown at Wolverhampton, is the only Coventry rider in the history of the sport to land a British individual iitle.

Coventry face a tough encounter at Hearsall Common tomorrow when they entertain Premier League side Horspath Hammers, from Oxford, in a pre- season friendly (3.00pm).

Coventry: 1 TBN, 2 Ashley Pointer, 3 Joe McLaughlin, 4 Jez Hughes, 5 Mick Docker, 6 Ray Oliver, 7 Myke Grimes, 8 TBN.

With Horspath declining to send a junior side, Coventry A take on Coventry B in the supporting fixture (2.00pm).

Coventry A: Simon McCartney, 3 Dave Foster, 4 Ben Davies, 5 Tobias Gaunt, 6 Chris Coombes, 7 Tom McDade.

Coventry B: 1 Chris Knapp, 2 Luke Gaunt, 3 Matthew Lawrence, 4 Sean McGuire, 5.Karl Lerigo, 6 Adam Gaff, 7 Paul Coombes.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Coventry Newpapers
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 23, 2002
Words:348
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