The Wightlink Warriors start their 2017 speedway season at The Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium tonight (Thursday) with The Vince Mapley Memorial Trophy.

The meeting is an individual event featuring all of the Warriors plus some former favourites and others who helped the team with guest appearances in 2016.

Warriors’ captain James Cockle is the current holder of the trophy and is hoping that he has left his practice day motor problems behind.

Former Warrior Joe Jacobs and ex-Plymouth man Stefan Nielsen have been ‘left on the shelf’ at the start of the season and will be doing their utmost to impress. New home hot shots Ben Wilson and Nathan Greaves are sure to be in the mix, not to mention last year’s big find Nathan Stoneman who has, unfortunately for the Warriors, moved in the winter to Kent Kings.

Tomorrow (Good Friday) the Warriors travel to Plymouth to take on the Plymouth Devils.

Warriors team boss Jackie Vatcher said:

“We have put together an entertaining line up to excite the crowd at our first home meeting. It is important to give all our boys a full run out before the National Trophy match at Plymouth on Good Friday evening and with a strong line up on parade I am sure we will be in for a night of thrilling on track action and off track fun.”

With a big crowd expected, fans are invited to arrive from 5.30pm with the pits open for viewing from 5.45pm to 6.15pm. The grand parade of riders will take place at 6.45pm with tapes up on the first race at 7pm.

Picture: Twitter @IslandSpeedway