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F Bradley Wilson-Dean didn’t know any better, the déjà vu he felt from helping fellow New Zealander and Diamonds team-mate George Congreve prepare for last Monday’s World Championship qualifier in Abensberg, Germany, could have been to meet his own ambitions.

IBAD FOR BRAD Unfinished business? More like unfinished seasons as Bradley Wilson-Dean looks back at a catalogue of seasons completed on the

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Alas, once more, injury has struck this likeable Kiwi and he’s on the outside looking in.

His third match for Newcastle was unlucky for him when he was forced to withdraw and has been sidelined ever since.

“I rode at Leicester and it was pretty rough, well, I was finding it pretty rough, but some of the guys made it look really smooth, I definitely didn’t!” says Wilson-Dean. “Every time I came into the corner and hit a bump, the bike would sort of straighten up. I did it in my second race and the bike just took off with me and wrenched my arm – and that was it, I knew I couldn’t carry on. The pain was just stupid.

“The rest of that race, I just couldn’t hang on. I just kept going out towards the fence because it would get a bit of drive and shoot me out to the fence, and I couldn’t even hang on to it properly. I went out for my third race, dropped the clutch, and then as soon as I started turning into the corner, I just knew I couldn’t, and that was it, I pulled off the track.

“I’ve torn the tendon in my rotating cuff, supraspinatus tendon, it’s very sore. When the bike starts pulling, it’s driving, which is the one thing you want it to do, I just can’t hang on to it.”

The tendon is located at the back of the shoulder of the supraspinatus muscle, and it enables your arm to move through its full range of motions. He’s currently undergoing physiotherapy and carrying out exercises, as advised, in order to build up and to strengthen the tendon.,

“It’s pretty slow to be honest,” he says of its progress. “I’ve just been seeing a physio, doing exercises and stuff. I see her every two weeks, and she’s purely sports physio, treated a few All Blacks – she’s pretty good. She said she’d let me know when it is strong enough. At the moment she said there is no strength in it.

wrong side of the safety fence pandemic, and a heavy crash in last year’s Grand Prix qualifier in Glasgow, means that Brad has missed two years of league competition. Obviously, it’s a major setback, but he remains philosophical and also realistic about his side’s situation.

“I told Newcastle the week after, ‘I don’t want you guys waiting on me, you’ve got to do what is best for the team. If you’ve got to sign someone else, no hard feelings, you have the club to look after, don’t worry about me’. It’s up to them.

“I don’t expect them to wait on someone who is injured, and doesn’t have a clear answer of when he’ll be able to ride. I couldn’t expect them to. I’m not worried if they sign someone else; for them, I think it’s more about surviving than it is about winning, so they need to survive. I want whatever is best for Newcastle Speedway. At the end of the day, I don’t want to see any more clubs close down.

“It is frustrating. I’d signed for Rawicz (in Poland), but since I’ve been injured I’ve not had a chance to do anything with them. I’ve seen they’re having a tough season. But I don’t sit here thinking about it, I just get on with my day.

“How many times have I not finished the season? Two-thousand and sixteen, seventeen, I sort of did, on and off; 18, I had to finish early because I had surgery booked and needed to take it; 19, I didn’t finish. The last season I finished properly was 2015. You can’t control an injury, all I can do is try and get it better. I don’t stress too much on anything these days – it’s injuries and speedway,” he shrugs.

Congreve has benefitted somewhat from Wilson-Dean’s redundant equipment and Brad accompanied him to Germany where he assisted him as much as he could. Furthermore, BWD can look forward to becoming a father in November when he and his partner Jodie are expecting a baby boy.

“The Ben Fund have been brilliant, they’ve really looked after me, with a baby on the way, no income, trying to keep up with rent and all that, I’d like to thank them for supporting me,” he says gratefully.

“I let Speedway New Zealand know I wasn’t doing the qualifier, so George could . I’ve been helping him out getting over here.

“The bikes he’s riding are mine, I’ve sponsored him with them for the season, a couple of bikes and engines; his toolbox, oils, sprays, helped him out as much as I can to make it a little bit easier for him.

“It’s nice to have another Kiwi here for a change. He’s been struggling a bit, but before here he’s only ridden on three tracks in his life really, so it’s a bit of a learning curve for sure. It was good experience for him to be out there with the big boys.”

Words: BRIAN BURFORD

“I’ve spent so much money (NZ$8,000 on a visa alone), put so much into it, to come to the other side of the world, and I’ve got a pretty sweet life back home, so to come all the way over here to do this job and not be able to do it 100 per cent...it’s not worth it.

“It’s not worth me going out there and not being able to do it properly, I’d rather wait until I’m right – that’s how I look at it. I’m not doing the team, or myself, any favours by going out there and not scoring because I can’t ride properly. I’m better waiting until I’m fit.”

The pandemonium caused by the

2 speedway star June 11, 2022

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