Captain David Mason has committed his future to the Haven Wildcats. The popular number one has told manager Brian White he wants to return to the Wessex Stadium next season.

Mason, who joined Weymouth two weeks into the 2004 campaign following the sacking of predecessor Justin Elkins, told Echosport: "I've had a terrific time at the club this year and I certainly want to come back in 2005.
"Obviously there's a lot of work to be done between now and then in terms of coming to an agreement with Brian, but I'm sure we'll be able to sort things out on that score."

"The plan is to sit down and talk to him in a few weeks time and hopefully we'll have something confirmed shortly after that."

If Mason does extend his association with the Dorset into next season, he's determined to be leading a Wildcats outfit challenging for Conference League and Cup honours.

He explained: "If I had to write a report on 2004 I'd say we've done wel but could have done a lot better. There have been occasions when we've looked as good as anyone at Conference level but others when we've not been at the races."

"Admittedly the luck has not been with us for much of the summer and it's been very difficult at times with riders coming and going at regular intervals. Having said that, there have also been plenty of positives such as the track itself which has improved greatly as the season has gone on and the better it's got, the better we've become as a team."

"Weymouth are now a tough side to beat at home and that's something we need to build on and turn to our advantage next year. With a couple of additions we could be a real force to be reckoned with and hopefully we can be challenging for some silver-ware in 2005."

With an average of more than nine, Mason has undoubtedly been Weymouth's star of the campaign. However, the Sussex-based heat leader feels there's plenty of improvement to come.

"I've been fairly pleased with my form," he added, "although there have been a few niggles with machinery and the odd injury or two. There's definitely more to come and hopefully next year will be the season it all comes good for me."

Lewis Bridger is looking forward to riding regularly at his favourite Wessex Stadium track next season - but it wasn't always that way. "The first time I rode there in an under-15 meeting at the beginning of the season I only picked up three points," recalled the teenager from Sussex who signed his Wildcats contract after his 15th birthday this week.

"The track was very rough, I had a terrible time with mechanical problems and I never wanted to ride there again.
"But when I guested down there for Wolverhampton Juniors against Weymouth, I won both my first two heats and finished second in the third after going out on a borrowed bike, and now I think it's great."

"The track is now a lot better than it was and I'm really excited to have signed a contract with Weymouth for next season."

Bridger, who has ridden for the Great Britain youth squad, had another excuse for not doing too well on his first visit to the Wessex Stadium. He explained: "It was the day after I had my leg out of plaster after breaking it when I came off a BMX bike. It had been in plaster for 14 weeks so I suppose I was expecting a bit too much."

Bridger, who excelled at moto-cross and 125cc road racing before taking up speedway two and a half years ago, has learnt a lot from Wildcats other two Eastbourne-based men skipper David Mason and Dan Giffard.

"Dan has helped me out a lot and is helping me maintain my bikes for next season," he said. "I know I will have to start off at six or seven but I want to work myself up to number two or four in the Conference League and then go on from there."

Wildcats boss Brian White said he was delighted when Bridger telephoned him out of the blue and asked for a contract at Weymouth next season.

"I've seen him three or four times in the under-15s and he has impressed me a lot," he said. "When he rode in the second half down here a few weeks ago his times were faster than a lot of those in the main meeting and I'm sure he is going to be a big asset."