Teenage rider signs for Berwick Bandits after catching the eye at Shielfield Park last season

Teenager Freddy Hodder has been unveiled as Berwick Bandits’ number seven for the 2024 Cab Direct Championship season.
New signing Freddy Hodder. Picture: Ian CharlesNew signing Freddy Hodder. Picture: Ian Charles
New signing Freddy Hodder. Picture: Ian Charles

The 17-year-old from Rugby has made rapid progress in Belle Vue Colts’ colours since swapping moto-cross for the British Youth Championships in 2021.

Belle Vue snapped him up and Hodder made his debut for the National Development League Colts at Plymouth in 2022.

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An impressive debut season average of just over 4.5 points included paid eight on his first appearance at Shielfield Park and 11+3 on his first sight of Mildenhall.

Not surprisingly, the Colts re-signed him last season and the last action of the year at Berwick’s Shielfield Park circuit saw Hodder and Colts team-mate James Pearson – Glasgow-bound in 2024 – combine for a heat 15 5-1 which stole victory from the Berwick Bullets in their final third-tier meeting.

Hodder’s 15+1 is a career-high and he will be back in the NDL with Belle Vue in addition to slotting into the number seven role with the Bandits.

Berwick team manager Stewart Dickson said: “As auditions go, Freddy’s match-winning performance against the Bullets was pretty spectacular, although to be fair he was already on the radar of the management here and we were keen to get his signature on a contract.

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“Compared to many that he will be racing against in 2024, Freddy is relatively inexperienced on a speedway bike, but he is an excellent all-round motorcycle racer, and slots seamlessly into the Berwick side.

“He will be learning from some of the best in Rory Schlein and Lewi Kerr, while Drew Kemp and Danyon Hume have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to establish yourself as a young rider.

“With one rider still to announce, I think the Berwick fans can see that we have built a side which blends experience with huge potential and a team which will race and battle for every point.

“With the festive period behind us the countdown really begins to that opening night challenge against Workington on March 30th.”

Australian Jye Etheridge is the other Berwick rider already declared for the 2024 season – returning for his seventh season.

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