COVENTRY CYCLE Speedway have today confirmed one of the biggest off-season signings as World Junior Champion Shane Bentley put pen to paper in a stunning move.
The deal was settled just three hours before Sunday’s transfer deadline and the 18-year-old Australia international becomes the clubs third winter signing – following the acquisitions of Poland’s Michal Sassek and teenager Adam Watson.
Bentley, from Adelaide, won the World Junior Final in terrific style last summer.
He scored 18 points, one ahead of his new Coventry team mate Sassek and third placed Matt Hill of Great Britain.
He joins the Hearsall Common club as a fully owned Coventry asset.
Bentley, who is currently two years into his Australian apprenticeship, is arranging with his employers when he may be released to travel to the UK and he is keeping Coventry officials fully up to date with progress.
Coventry team manager Lee Marsh initially concluded agreement with Bentley within hours of his World final triumph. Talks continued all winter, resulting in last weekend’s successful outcome.
Bentley said: “I raced at the Coventry track in the final Great Britain V Australia Test match last August.
“I was amazed with the terrific promotion of the match and the very large crowd – it was an amazing experience.
“The Coventry club were very welcoming and friendly towards all the Australians that day.
“They organized a Civic Reception with the Lord Mayor and took us all to dinner – they could not have done more for us.
“I thought then that I would like to race for the club.”
Boss Marsh said: “We welcome Shane to our colours.
“It’s a tremendous honour to sign a reigning World champion in any sport and we are delighted.
“We hope to hold our own in the Elite league and Shane will help us try to achieve that.”
Bentley will become the third World Champion to race in Coventry colours – following in the tyre-prints of Leicester based Dave Hemsley and Coventry’s own Ray Oliver.
Coventry are on the verge of concluding arrangements with a further ten signings, with three due to be released next week and one on Saturday (February 13).
For more information on Coventry Cycle Speedway club, visit www.coventrycyclespeedway.co.uk