A show stopping end of season fixture is set for Purfleet Raceway this Friday when an Arena 'Past and Present' side will face the Eastbourne Eagles. Not only will Elite League stars be strutting their stuff, but there's also local and family pride at stake as well!

The latter will be in the form of 'Big Ron', alias co-promoter and team manager Ronnie Russell, who's hoping to guide his Hammers 'Past and Present' side to victory over younger brother Terry?s Elite League Eagles of Eastbourne.

The somewhat surprising news that broke on the eve of the season was that BSPA President, and former Arena Essex promoter, Terry Russell had taken over from Bob Dugard as the head promoter at Arlington.

The former Crayford, Hackney, Arena Essex and London Lions promoter had hoped to bring Elite League speedway to a brand new (in speedway terms that is) venue at Sittingbourne (Kent) in 2002 but with the initial planning application rejected, that proved impossible. Instead he concentrated on his new venture at Eastbourne

And what a solid and talented looking side he's had racing for him this year, a side that not only finished top of the final Sky Sports Elite League table but who will have taken the title, as they did two years ago, providing they overcome an eight point deficit against Wolverhampton in their home leg of the play off final.

The Eagles will have David Norris who signed for the Eagles on his 16th birthday at No. 1 and, like Martin Dugard, has proved to be an ultra-loyal clubman despite spending spells at Ipswich and Reading. Earlier on this season he enjoyed a well deserved Testimonial meeting to celebrate ten years as an Eastbourne rider.

Norris's fellow heat leaders have been named as Dean Barker and Joe Screen. "Bionic man" Barker is now fully fit after such a chronic run of injuries over recent years. Despite all that pain and suffering, "Deano" is still every bit as enthusiastic about riding for Eastbourne as he was when he first joined the club.

Joe Screen is, and has been for many, many years, one of the most exciting and spectacular riders gracing the sport. The sight of Joe in full flight is truly one of the wonders of the speedway world and he is now right back to his very best after missing most of last season due to a broken thigh.

Swede Stefan Andersson has returned to the Eastbourne fold this year after spells away at King's Lynn and Peterborough and occupies one of the second string berths alongside Finn Joonas Kylmakorpi who has spent this season on loan at Ipswich.

And finally, at reserve, the Eastbourne side name American Brent Werner and teenager Edward Kennett. The fact that Brent rode for Arena at No.1 in their last home match against Edinburgh clearly demonstrates how hard a task the Hammers 'Past and Present' side face on Friday if they are to win what promises to be a thrilling match.



1. Kelvin Tatum
2. Alan Mogridge
3. Ray Morton
4. Leigh Lanham
5. Paul Hurry
6. Colin White
7. Shaun Tacey (C)


1. David Norris
2. Joonas Kylmakorpi
3. Dean Barker
4. Stefan Andersson
5. Joe Screen (C)
6. Edward Kennett
7. Brent Werner