Speedway: Hughes signs for Potters
STOKE Easy Rider Potters have added another piece to their 2013 team jigsaw by completing a loan deal for Coventry rider Kyle Hughes.
The 23-year-old joins Lee Smart, Ben Reade and Luke Priest in the new-look line-up as Potters management step up their quest to build a trophy-winning side.
Hughes, who joins Stoke on an average of 6.12 points, spent last season on loan at Isle of Wight.
He is being tipped to challenge Smart for the number one race jacket at Loomer Road.
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Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey said: "Kyle rode for me in 2006 at Boston and I've kept an eye of his career since then.
"Over the past couple of years things have not gone so well for him and I know he is anxious to get his career back on track.
"He thought long and hard about the move before committing himself, but I feel that on his average he is a steal for us.
"Kyle is also looking forward to linking up with fellow Wiltshire-based riders Lee Smart and Ben Reade and cannot wait for the season to come around.
"I'd also like to thank the Coventry promotion – and Laurence Rogers in particular – for helping to conclude this deal quickly."
Hughes started racing at Reading and Swindon before securing a team place at Mildenhall for the 2004 season where he was part of their Conference Trophy-winning side.
He has won a string of team honours in the Conference and National leagues, including the title with Oxford, the Knockout Cup with Plymouth and the National Trophy on three occasions with Mildenhall and Plymouth.
The youngster also represented Great Britain at under-21s level in a test match against Australasia in 2009.
Hughes also went close to winning the 2010 National League Riders Championship.
He was leading in the run-off for first place until he shed a chain coming off the final turn and could only watch as Craig Cook went by to take the title.
Hughes, whose cousin is the highly-ranked snooker star Stephen Lee, also has Premier League experience and has raced for Leicester over the past couple of seasons, although not on a full-time basis.
A change in his personal circumstances after becoming a father put a strain on his racing commitments, but the talented rider is keen to rekindle his career.
The signing of Hughes means three places remain for the Potters to fill for their 2013 National League campaign, which is scheduled to begin in March.