NewsNew Zealand Hot-Shots Fly Into Newcastle for the 2022 Season 

11 November 20210

Action photo by Vanessa Adcock Photography

​The Newcastle Diamonds have bookended their 2022 team with two red-hot Kiwi sensations in the shape of Bradley Wilson-Dean as the new number one, and newcomer to the UK scene, George Congreve at number seven.

Wilson-Dean (27, from Hastings, New Zealand) has been racing over here since the 2015 season, debuting with Eastbourne, and has since ridden for Swindon, Somerset, Workington, and Peterborough and has developed into a massive talent with a tenacious riding style that makes him instantly a crowd favourite, while Congreve (21, from Christchurch, New Zealand) will be making his British debut with the Diamonds in Spring, but also comes with a fiery reputation and top-class recommendations.

Club owner, Rob Grant said last night: “The Diamonds have a seriously strong connection to New Zealand riders going back to the 1960s with the greatest of them all, six times world Speedway champion, the late Ivan Mauger (1963-68), while over those last 60 years we’ve also had Bill Andrew (1962 and 1964), Bob Duckworth (1963-64), Murray Burt (1967-69), Gary Peterson (1968-69), David Bargh (1978-81, 84, 90-92), Graeme Stapleton (1978-79) and, Mark Thorpe (1989-94), amongst others in the Black and White, so, bringing in Bradley and George seems a very natural step for a Newcastle Speedway team.

“Bradley and George have a strong association with former New Zealand legends Bruce Cribb and Mike Fullerton, and we understand George comes to us with a reputation of being good hard rider who won’t give an inch in his races, also both lads have British family ties, while George, once he’s done his first eight matches for us will become an asset of the club.

“Riders like Bradley and George, who race physically to the chequered flag, inject a massive dose of excitement into a meeting, and that means race nights at Brough Park next year are going to be explosive events, the sort the fans will love to see. Bruce will also be looking to be at Brough on occasions this coming season, supporting the guys, and his vast experience will also rub off on the rest of the Diamonds as well.

“Bradley is really hitting the heights now, and was also in the Grand Prix qualifier last year, but fell heavily, however this lad will be world class in the very near future and will be a force to be reckoned with for us, while George is a three-times New Zealand Under-21 champion, including currently for 2021, and is full of determination to make the most of his first season in the UK. Both are eager to meet their new fans on Tyneside and are very aware of the club’s Kiwi connection. They were also both completely professional with their talks and totally keen to get on board in Byker.

“Our final rider will, I can say now, be a rider with an average that will keep us close to the new points limit, and this also means we have a solid team with strength-in-depth the key that we believe will gain us success on track. They will be a team of entertainers, a team who all want to race for us and get us, and our fans triumphs to cheer from day one to the end of October. 2022 is going to be a year to remember at Brough Park!”

Wilson-Dean was keen to say: “This is a good move for me to come to Newcastle next season, and it wasn’t a hard decision to say yes to Rob and the club. I see it as a good challenge to join the Diamonds, and I’m working in the gym to get my fitness level to a max for the start of 2022.

“I’ll be getting the bikes and gear all sorted in good time, and the first match can’t come along too soon for me. It’s a new start for me at a new club in the UK, and it will be great to get up to the North East and meet up with all the new guys I’ll be working with and racing for!”

Congreve said: “I’m very excited to be a part of Newcastle for the 2022 race season. When offered to ride at reserve, there was no hesitation in accepting the challenge. I’m 100% committed and doing everything I can to be fit and prepared best for the season in the UK.

“I have an enormous amount of support behind me, and I can’t thank Bradley Wilson-Dean and Rob Grant enough for all they have done. I cannot wait to meet everyone involved at the club and the fans at Newcastle. I’m currently competing in the New Zealand speedway season and getting in as many laps as possible before arriving in England. I look forward to seeing you all soon!”

Beyond his three NZ U-21 Championships, Congreve’s also won the prestigious Brian Reed Memorial a fortnight ago in Invercargill, whilst has also won a South Island Championship, a Canterbury Championship, and came third in the New Zealand Championships while Wilson-Dean can also boast New Zealand Under-21 Championships in 2014 and 2015 as well as New Zealand Championships in the seasons of 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2020.

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