Saturday December 21, 2013
The 'Cases' Somerset Rebels have been forced into making a change to their 2014 line-up.

The change has come about after the speedway authorities decreed that new signing Brady Kurtz would start the season with the club on a 5.00 average rather than the 3.00 figure which is normally applied to Australian riders with dual British nationality.

After originally being thwarted by red tape in his attempt to join Somerset this time last year, Kurtz, who is eligible for such dual Australian/British nationality, decided to wait a season before come to join the Rebels for the 2014 campaign.

Despite the Kurtz family receiving confirmation from the BSPA Office in Rugby that Brady’s wish to ride in Denmark during 2013 would not affect his proposed 2014 3.00 starting average with Somerset, the fact he then attained a riding average with the Danish authorities meant that Brady would no longer be eligible for that 3.00 average, and instead a 5.00 figure would be applied, something, it would appear, that the BSPA Office failed to make the Kurtz family or the Somerset promotion aware of.

“We were then informed by way of an email that the BSPA had decided that Brady would now be classed as a 5.00 point assessed rider than the previously advised 3.00 figure due to him attaining a Danish average.” Explained Somerset promoter Debbie Hancock

“I know that Brady’s father, Steve, had followed everything as originally laid down by the BSPA Office to ensure that Brady did not fall foul of any of the guidelines that had been set, which included his riding in the Danish Elite League, but even though he has complied with those guidelines, the fact he attained that Danish average changed everything, even though we nor Brady’s family were made aware of that when originally confirming matters with the BSPA Office.”

The revised figure applied to Kurtz has put the proposed Somerset team for next season above the maximum 42.50 figure under which all Premier League teams must start the 2014 season, and has left team manager Garry May the headache of trying to re-jig the team in order to bring the team average back below that figure.

“Unfortunately with Brady being re-assessed as a 5 point rider it means that we have had to rethink our team line-up for 2014,” he said, “and to that end I have gone through countless different permutations in order to do this, but obviously whichever way you look at it, we would have to release one or two riders from our original line-up.”

“It has been a very difficult process, but in the end we have decided to release Nick Morris from the team, the deciding factor that went against Nick as opposed to the other options available to me was the number of matches he could be missing for Somerset when he was required to ride for Swindon, his Elite League club.”

“The way I had originally constructed the Somerset team, I felt we had the capacity to cover the times we would be without Nick, but if I kept Nick and made the necessary changes lower down the rider order, then I felt that it would leave us vulnerable when having cover the times that Nick would be riding for Swindon.”

“It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do when informing Nick that he was no longer a part of the 2014 team, I had spoken to his dad beforehand who understood the reasons as to why we were letting Nick go, but that doesn’t make things any easier.”

“After looking through the riders whose average fits and are still available, I can confirm that we have signed Swede Pontus Aspgren, who initially came to the UK in 2012 to ride for Wolves in the Elite League and then rode for Rye House in the latter half of the 2013 campaign.”

“Ironically, Pontus contacted the club a few weeks ago to enquire about the possibility of a team place with the Rebels for next season, only to be told at that stage that we had our septet sorted out. He is keen to come to Somerset and I am sure that he will do an excellent job for us.”

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