Schramm takes final spot in Devils line up
PLYMOUTH Devils manager Lee Trigger has unveiled the final rider who will form part of the city speedway team's play-offs drive this season.
Former Sheffield rider Chris Schramm, 28, who spent more than a year out of the sport with a broken back, will ride number two for the Devils.
Schramm, who admits he did not have the best of seasons at Sheffield last year, is looking for a new start, said Trigger.
He said: "I had a long talk with Chris on Friday and he said he had a disappointing season last year.
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"He had five engines blow on him and it was his first year on a bike after being out for a long time with a broken back.
"He's got a different engine tuner, two fresh engines, a bit of money in the bank and he wants to give it a go.
"I think he has it in him to do well and he does too.
"Really, he needs a fresh start. I am trying to get him a decent mechanic, for home matches at least, which I think will help him out."
Trigger said Schramm had been offered a deal in which he received more the better he performed on the track.
Trigger said: "He was quite happy to accept and he thinks that will be a really good deal.
"Chris wants to do well – his aim is to be a heat leader."
Trigger said 28-year-old Schramm was not fully acclimatised to small tracks like the Devils' St Boniface Arena.
He said: "I know he can gate (the art of getting off a start-line quickly), but I think he will be very useful particularly away from home.
"He's not a short track rider, really, and he will need a couple of races to get used to that.
"Having said that, he's a fit, strong lad, so he should be able to get a bike around the tight corners at St Boniface."
Schramm joins a team which will be determined to avoid finishing last in the Premier League, as the club did last season.
Next season's number one is highly-rated Ty Proctor, who will be doubling up for Elite League side Wolverhampton Wolves.
Also signed are Australian team manager Mark Lemon and Poole Pirate Ricky Kling.
Lemon is a Newcastle Diamonds rider with more than 20 years' experience.
Last season's team captain, Cory Gathercole, will be returning to the St Boniface Arena in the same role.
Joining him is Todd Kurtz, arguably Devils' most improved rider last year, who will start at reserve.
The other reserve is the promising Ben Reade, who Trigger confirmed would be signing for the Devils, as reported by The Herald last week.
Reade and Schramm have yet to officially put pen to paper on their contracts, but have verbally agreed deals.
Devils have just been taken over by a consortium after the club's previous owner, Mike Bowden, decided to put it up for sale.
Devils finished dead last in 2012, their second season in the Premier, the second tier of speedway in the UK.
Because of their league position, the Devils even failed to make the competition for clubs who did not get into the post-season play-offs.
In their first season, Devils finished bottom-but-one ahead of Leicester, thanks to a nine-match unbeaten run at home.
Trigger said the club intended to push for a position much further up the league table in 2013.