Thursday December 17, 2020
The management team at Somerset Speedway would like to wish former Rebel Todd Kurtz every success in the future, after the announcement that the Cowra-based rider has decided to retire from racing, after a decade spent on these shores.

It was a seven points from four rides contribution at Rye House on 29th June 2013 as a guest rider that set Todd on his way as a points scorer for the Rebels, as he was signed the following season and made a total of 49 appearances including a paid 14 return in a challenge fixture at his former club Plymouth on March 29th 2014.

The likeable Todd featured in the winning team that scooped the Premiership Fours and his end of season report would have made satisfactory reading. His first 11 meetings as a Rebel saw him in the number two berth and from his 45 rides he averaged a 6.66 figure. In May though he dropped down to the reserve berth and, wearing the number six, made a further 38 appearances that constituted 177 rides for his paid 309 points (a reserve average of 6.98), which over the course of the season meant a 6.91 average from his 222 rides that netted 384 paid points.

Unfortunately though he moved back to Plymouth for two seasons before joining Sheffield in 2017. The following year, Todd was a double Big Cat, riding for the Leicester Lions in the Premiership and staying with the Sheffield Tigers in the Championship League, but he started the 2019 season back at the Oaktree Arena and again took occupancy of the number two position.

103 points from 80 rides across his 19 appearances (plus a home and away challenge against Plymouth where he took on the number one position for a 22 point haul from 9 rides) proved to be the limitation of his Somerset contribution as he became the innocent victim of a multiple team change at the end of July, a decision that team boss Garry May had to longingly agonize over.

"It was simply a mater of circumstances", admitted the Rebels manager, "I had to make changes as Valentin Grobauer and Henry Atkins both wanted to be released and working replacements just around those two proved impossible. The opportunity of going stronger at the top end by bringing in Nick Morris meant I needed to free up a few more points in the middle order and so I had to have that difficult chat with Todd."
" I have to admit it was not something I was looking forward to but Todd was so professional about it. He understood the situation and said to me, 'Gazza you gotta do what you gotta do'. "
"It wasn't a nice thing to do but Todd made it much more palatable. I was really pleased that he was able to get a place back at Sheffield and wasn't sidelined for too long. I would like to wish Todd every success for the future, he is a great guy and I can only hope that his planned Testimonial at Sheffield will be staged in 2021 after it cruelly became a victim of the cancelled 2020 season."

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