READING Racers head back to the coast this Saturday for their second Southern Development League home match at Eastbourne against the Kent Kestrels.

Kent finished runners-up to Reading last season after the teams clashed at the Kestrels’ Sittingbourne home in September with the visitors coming away victorious.

It is early days in the 2018 season with only two matches having been completed – Reading and Isle of Wight being the two winners – but Kent have certainly come back strong with a team looking very rich in talent.

They will, however, be looking for a late replacement as 18-year-old Jacob Clouting broke his foot in a National League fixture on Monday.

Racers stick with three of their triumphant team from two weeks ago with skipper Stephen Whitehouse looking to improve on his two-point score this time.

Rhys Laker will also be looking for a better night after struggling with what turned out to be a clutch problem last time out, but has been far happier in practice since. The former Kent mascot will be looking to show what he can do against his local team.

One rider who can not do any better is 15-year-old Dan Gilkes, who scored maximum points against Exeter and is also unbeaten in two Midland and Northern League matches.

Reading welcome Charlie Brooks who is making his debut for them, although he’s a familiar face at Arlington, having secured the Eagles’ reserve position at the start of the season.

The Grasstrack rider from Norfolk will welcome the extra rides as he battles to consolidate his position as one of many promising 16-year-old Brits.

Kent manager John Sampford tracks his own National League team member Alex Spooner alongside 2017 squad member James Laker and 2018 recruit Andrew Palmer, with Clouting’s replacement to be announced pre-match.

Saturday’s teams:

Reading Racers – 1. Dan Gilkes, 2. Rhys Laker, 3. Charlie Brooks, 4. Stephen Whitehouse (c)

Kent Kestrels – 1. Alex Spooner, 2. Andrew Palmer, 3. TBA, 4. James Laker