CRADLEY Heathens will return to speedway’s National League next season – but, without a permanent home, one of their directors admits the club is living a ‘year by year existence’.

Heathens did not enter the league at all last season, only taking part in the National Trophy, but they will be one of eight clubs competing in the sport's third tier in 2019.

The club will once again share Wolverhampton’s track for most of the National League campaign, with the possibility of occasional meetings being staged at Perry Barr in Birmingham.

Director Nigel Pearson says the Heathens’ return has been supporter-driven but admits it is difficult to look beyond next season given the lack of a home track in the Dudley borough.

He said: “It is a year-by-year existence when you are the mercy of other clubs – we are borrowing Wolverhampton’s staff and track and when that’s the case, you have to take it season by season.

“We have had that many promises from Dudley Council in the past – I’ve been sat in meetings and been promised that every acre of Dudley borough would be exhausted before they gave up hope on Cradley.

“But that committee was never launched, not for the want of trying on our part.

“So returning to the league was a decision that wasn’t taken lightly.

“We entered the National Trophy last season but we were given feedback that said that wouldn’t be allowed again – it was the league or nothing.

“We were considering not running at all because there is still no light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to a track of our own, which is majorly disappointing in this, the 10th season of the revival of the Heathens.

“I went to the end-of-season function organised by the Supporters Trust and it was clear that everyone was keen to see the team survive and that a hell of a lot of people would be heartbroken by the closure of the club.

“It’s not a money-making or profiteering scheme, it’s dedication from a group of people – now we need our fans and sponsors to stand by us and support us to make it viable.

“I’ve never seen a reaction like it on social media (when the return was announced). People were jubilant they have a team to support again.

“The fans told us they wanted this, now it’s up to them to show us how much they want it.”