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SOMERSET Rebels Promotion has taken the decision to move the club up into UK speedway’s top tier, the newly named Premiership (previously known as the Elite League).

Somerset promoter Debbie Hancock explaining the reasoning behind the decision.

She said: “Although we are a relatively young club in speedway terms, having only been formed in 2000, we would like to feel that we are also a club with ambition, and after 15 seasons in the sport’s second tier of racing, the last five years of which have been highly successful by way of the titles won, we felt that the time was right to move up into the sport’s highest level of racing in the UK.”

“Also, when you look at it, with Rye House also making the move into the Premiership, geographically the move into top tier made sense as, if we had stayed in the second tier of racing, our nearest team would have been Peterborough, which is not exactly local to ourselves.

"Whereas by competing in the Premiership, we will have the attraction of local derbies against the likes of Swindon and Poole, plus clubs like Wolverhampton, Coventry and Leicester are not a million miles away from the Oaktree Arena. In fact, the furthest we would have to travel would be to Belle Vue (Manchester) in the North and King’s Lynn in the East.

“This was not a decision the club have taken lightly, and we would not have agreed to join the newly formed Premiership if we didn’t think that it was the right move for the club, both on and off the track.

“I know that this news may come as somewhat of a shock to our fans, and they will have many questions which they would like answered regarding the decision to move up, but I ask that they be patient on that front as we will be putting more ‘meat on the bones’ over the course of the forthcoming weeks, which, hopefully, will answer their concerns.

“I am sure that our main team sponsors, Cases Ltd, will be more than pleased with our decision to be taking the club into the highest level of speedway in the UK. These are very exciting times for the club and all concerned with the ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels and I personally cannot wait for the new season to get underway next March.”