Sunday January 09, 2022
BIRMINGHAM are looking to step up their team building in the next week with a clear ‘don’t panic’ message to supporters.

Two more members of last year’s team, Jack Thomas and Paco Castagna, have moved on to Oxford and Edinburgh respectively after weeks of uncertainty as Birmingham’s new consortium fought bravely to save the sport in the city.

But manager Laurence Rogers is continuing to cast his net far and wide with ongoing talks with riders as he looks for the final three to complete the 2022 Brummies.

Said Rogers: “It’s a shame Paco and Jack have decided to move on for 2022 - but hopefully we haven’t seen the last of either of them in Brummies’ colours yet.

“While Ash and Shanesie were holding out for a place at Birmingham no matter what, everyone’s situation is different.

“Jack was also very keen on a return - but while the Brummies’ future was still uncertain, he received a silly offer from Oxford that he just couldn’t turn down.

“It’s a shame to see Jack go because he had an excellent return to the sport with the Brummies last year.

“He was so downhearted and lacking confidence after he packed it in part way through 2019, but it was great to see he’s got his mojo back last year.

“He performed brilliantly more often than not as our Rising Star and it was great to watch him revive his career because he’s got a real future ahead of him.

“As for Paco, I think everyone knows he’d have been back for another season if we’d have known what was happening a bit sooner.

“He just couldn’t hold out any longer, he had to get himself a team place sorted and when the offer came in from Edinburgh, he saw it as a new challenge and one he feels will help him kick on again after another impressive season in 2021.

“I think it goes without saying that it won’t just be his points scoring ability that will be missed, it will be his character and his personality along with his exciting displays and wheelie celebrations.

“It is disappointing not to have both Paco and Jack back, but like I said we understand the reasons why they couldn’t wait for us any longer - and it would be great to see them back at Birmingham in 2023.

“We’re more than happy with the four riders we’ve got so far, it already has the spine of a very solid looking team.

“We’ve been in talks with two more riders this week who we are hopeful of securing very soon and if all goes to plan there, then we’re pretty confident we know how we would like to complete the jigsaw.”

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