After weeks of searching, talking to riders and trying to fit in with the National League averages with the 12.28 remaining out of the total 39 point team limit , the Plymouth Devils have got their man to join the five already named for the 2017 campaign.
Joining Steve Boxall, Lee Smart, Richard Andrews, Callum Walker and Henry Atkins plus No. 8 Saul Bulley will be 2008 Conference League Riders’ Champion BENJI COMPTON, who was a member of the Elite League winning side Poole in 2014.
Actually born in Tenerife, he is the brother of former Sheffield star Andre Compton and started racing in 2005 for the Buxton Hitmen . The 30 year old has a wealth of experience having worn the colours of Scunthorpe (2005 and 2008), Sheffield (2006), Berwick, Kings Lynn (2007), Redcar (2008-9), Kent (2013-14) ,Somerset (2015) , Isle of Wight (2016).
He is the third former League Riders’ Champion in the Devils side along with Lee Smart (2010) and twice winner Steve Boxall (2005 and 2013).
His addition to the side on his 8.95 average leaves the Devils with 3.33 to fill the final team spot meaning that former Coventry rider Callum Walker will now start the season in the main body of the team and a new reserve partner for 16 year old Henry Atkins has to be signed.
Co-Promoter Mark Phillips likes the look of the new side, “ The addition of Benji gives us a strong top end look with the potential of the rest of the side. We have burnt the midnight oil in looking at the various options for the final two team spots and this has now paid dividends in capturing Benji . We now have one rider to sort to name our full side.”
Team boss and co-promoter Laurence Rogers added, “ It took a bit of talking with Benji to persuade him into riding as he has started a new business that is going very well. But I persisted and in the end he knew he really wanted to ride and we got our man. “
“His addition means that Callum Walker will move up into the top five and I have no qualms about that as I know he is more than capable and it was his goal to achieve that any way. Being purely selfish I would have liked to have had him at reserve initially as that would have given us strength in that position alongside Henry.”
“We now have 3.33 to use and in reality there are not many, if any, that are available up to that so we may well go with a 3 pointer and we are looking at who is out there to fill that role. I may not rush into this and see who we could bring in. We had looked at several option to fill the final two spots but for various reasons some of these were not possible and we have gone for top end strength with faith in those already signed to all improve their averages as we know they are capable of. “Benji is pumped at being a Devil, “ I must admit I really thought I wouldn’t be riding this year with my new business but when Laurence contacted me I did say no initially but the more I thought about it the more I knew I wanted to ride and in fairness to Plymouth they put no pressure on me . I like the look of the side they have put together especially with my old team mate Steve Boxall there . So after a bit of thought and organising my work schedule I told Laurence I would ride …now I can’t wait to get back on a bike !! A few of my mates have gone out and bought trials bikes recently and I was the only one without one so I went out last weekend and got one . It will help get me fit and get me back on a bike before the speedway season gets underway.”