Bradley Wilson-Dean has accomplished his first mission for 2017 - but he’s not prepared to settle for that.
The New Zealand champion has been the star turn for Panthers so far in the current SGB Championship season, piling up the points at reserve.
He is estimated to have increased his 5.02 starting average by around one-and-a-half points which will earn a rise into the main body of the city side when new figures - which have not yet been made public - come into effect for a Saturday trip to Glasgow.
“It’s been going good for me,” said Wilson-Dean, who missed the defeats at Berwick and Newcastle last weekend after sustaining a small fracture to his left hand in a spill when riding for his SGB Premiership side, Swindon, against King’s Lynn last Thursday night.
“I told everyone at Press & Practice Day that my first goal for this season was to get myself up into the main body of the team. I’ve done what I set out to do.
“I’m sitting third in our averages and it’s pretty much going to plan, so the next challenge is to make sure I stay in the top five.
“I’d love to be one of our top three guys by the end of the year, but more importantly I want the team to do well by reaching the play-offs and challenging for silverware.
“We’ve been a bit unlucky so far with injuries, illness and unavailability, but I’m sure we can get going with a full team.”
Wilson-Dean is confident he will be fit enough to line up for Panthers at table-toppers Edinburgh. That is set to be his final meeting at reserve.
The 22 year-old is still feeling discomfort from the hand he injured a week ago, but he is also mightily relieved not to have been badly hurt in a spectacular recent crash at the East of England Arena.
Wilson-Dean and Edinburgh guest Danny Ayres incredibly walked away from a frightening heat 14 spill earlier this month.
“The hand was pretty swollen at first and is still a little bit sore,” added Wilson-Dean. “There’s a small fracture in there, but it’s been rested for a few days and I want to be back on a bike, helping the team in a couple of tough meetings.
“I just got sandwiched between Chris Hodler and Lewis Rose going into the first bend and my front wheel was taken away.
“There was no intent from anyone, but I hit the ground awkwardly.
“I’ve had two or three crashes this season and was pretty lucky not to break my femur in the one at Peterborough.
“I was able to walk away from it, but it definitely hurt. I had a bruise the whole length of my thigh and I was feeling it for a days afterwards.”