WEYMOUTH Wildcats have secured the signature of Cesca Kirtley-Paine ahead of the 2019 Southern Development League season.

Kirtley-Paine hails from Rugby and first came to the Wildcats’ attention when riding alongside sister Hannah at a meeting in Poole.

Her performance convinced Weymouth to pursue her signing and the talented rider has agreed to link up with the Cats, bringing their expected roster to seven.

Ordinarily, a quota of six riders applies, but with the Isle of Wight fielding eight squad members last season, Weymouth are confident their enlarged rider list will be sanctioned.

Kirtley-Paine joins new captain Bailey Fellows and new vice-captain Jacob Fellows, plus James Jessop and Luke Barnes.

Jordan Bull is also expected to return when he overcomes a serious knee injury, and there is a welcome return to action for Kenny Bowdery after a year away from the sport.

Speaking to Echosport, Wildcats’ co-promoter James Tresadern praised Kirtley-Paine for her “keen as mustard” approach.

He said: “Her sister rides as well. They were down at Poole a couple of years ago and they’re classed as the ‘shale sisters’ because they both ride speedway.

“Cesca is a little bit more keen than Hannah. I’ve not seen much of Hannah on a bike lately.

“Poole invited them down for a meeting a couple of years ago. They’re not originally from Poole, they’re from Rugby.

“That’s when they first came to our attention. We’re always on the look-out for developing riders.”

On the size of their squad, Tresadern added: “I know that’s seven but we’re looking at getting the okay from the (League) AGM with the Isle of Wight having eight riders last year.

“It gives us a little bit of freedom to mix and match because not everybody is going to make every meeting. Hopefully they won’t vote against us having the riders.

“Cesca is really up for it and she’s keen as mustard.”

The Fellows cousins have been promoted to captain and vice-captain ahead of the injured Bull, and Tresadern praised the teenage duo’s progress.

He said: “Those two really came on leaps and bounds last year. They were pretty well ever-present at every meeting. It’s what they deserve. We’ve got faith in the young ones.”