SPEEDWAY: STOKE Potters will open their season on March 18 with a challenge match against a Denmark Select.
The connection with Jan Staechmann, the injured Potters ace who is the Denmark team manager, helped arrange the exciting fixture.
Staechmann has already named Elite League stars Charlie Gjedde and Martin Risager in his side.
Promoter Dave Tattum explained: 'I have had several conversations with Jan and it has been confirmed that he will bring a strong Denmark Select team to open our season.
'We wanted something special to open our season as it will be the first time the new air safety fence has been used in a Premier League fixture.
'On top of that, we wanted something that would mean something to the supporters and one that would give the Stoke riders a big test before we start the Premier Trophy campaign the following week and I think that fixture meets all the criteria.
'It's quite an exciting prospect really and there is a lot of enthusiasm amongst the riders. Everyone is keen to meet up and make a start and I am quite certain that the new boys will slot in very smoothly.'
Tattum is hoping to hold a full team practice on Saturday March 11 and then run a training school on Sunday from 12noon-4pm, weather and track conditions permitting.
'If we can crack on this week and just finish off a few bits and pieces, we should have the track available for the weekend,' said Tattum.
'We want to run a full squad practice so that the riders can do some testing and we can take a look at the pairings. Anyone interested in the training school the following day can contact me on 07789028003.'
Meanwhile, Stoke have made 17-year-old Ben Barker their first signing for the Spitfires team in 2006.
Barker broke his thigh at Loomer Road on August 3 last year whilst riding for Oxford but says he is back to fitness.
'That is all in the past and I am fully recovered both physically and mentally,' he said. 'In fact, it was me that asked to come here. I really rate Stoke as a track and the promotion is spot on. I think it will be good for me to ride here and I'm very keen to show that.'