Monday, June 2 – Brighton, England
Wasting no time as the new off season begins, George Lacy Hillier meet today with the owner of Brighton Beach, Samuel Laing. The meeting was hostile. Hillier told Laing that Brighton’s dominance is no good for the sport. He ordered Laing to break apart Brighton at their cut day by either releasing Gareth O’hAnnagain to free agency or by trading either Sullivan Kingston or Padrig Paterson.
Tuesday, June 3 – Brighton, England
Following yesterday’s hostile meeting Samuel Laing meet today with his coach Rearden Lane to discuss their plan of action going forward.
Thursday, June 12 – London, England
The RVA wants to start cut days soon so they asked Laing for a commitment to do as they ordered. Instead Laing came to the league offices today and meet again with George Lacy Hillier. He laid out for Hillier his terms should he break apart his mighty team. Laing wants more control in the league for the owners. He wants the league to be governed going forward by a board made up of at least one owner from each team, if a team is owned by a group then one who is deemed the controlling owner of that team will sit on the board. The board will hire a league commissioner. The commissioner is to carry out their will for the league. The board will be headed by a chairman. The chairman will be elected by the board from amongst its own members. That chairman will retain their position as such until they either are no longer on the board (i.e. death, sale their team, amongst various other reasons), or the board losses confidence in them and votes them out of that position with a vote of no confidence by a simple majority. Laing wants this to take effect for the next season and purposes that he be made the initial Chairman of the Board and he is willing to also name Hillier as the first Commissioner. Stunningly Hillier agreed to these terms.
Monday, June 23 – Brighton, England
Cut day for Brighton Beach. It is also the day they must break their mighty team apart. Before they could even begin some stunners came down. First, Coach Rearden Lane announced he was leaving the team as well. He has been offered the job to Coach the New York Jumbos. Yes, the New York Jumbos. He put his name into free agency and signed a letter of intent with the Jumbos. Then it was revealed that to break up the mighty team they have traded Padrig Paterson to none other then the New York Jumbos. In exchange Brighton gets the poor performing Edison Hennessy. Things did not end there however. Gareth O’hAnnagain informed the team that he too would be going to free agency. Upon hitting the open market, he signed a letter of intent with the Crystal Palace Sparrows. Brighton assistant coach Andrus Ainsworth has been rumored to be the leading candidate to coach the Sparrows next season. With O’hAnnagain going to free agency Brighton looked to resign their other pending free agent Ike Lewis. They did. Nicky Christophers was moved up to Middle, Ike Lewis was moved up to Cleanup, Russ Garner was moved up to First Option, and Edison Hennessy was assigned to Third Option. The Second Option and Head Coach positions remain open.
Tuesday, June 24 – London, England
London Athletic has their cut day and it is not nearly as exciting as Brighton’s yesterday. Wesley Moore was brought back as the team’s head coach. Cecil Dick and Ffransis McNeill were the pending free agents. The team resigned Dick and released McNeill to free agency. Yale Foster was moved down on the roster to the Third Option position. The Second Option position was left open. The team says they hope to get a player about the caliber of Graeme Radclyffe in free agency. However, they fear that with O’hAnnagain coming to sign with Crystal Palace, Radclyffe will resign with the team as well.
In other news the RVA released their schedule for 1885. Due to the extended length of it created by the addition of the expansion team in Erfurt, the start date has been moved back to January 3. The league is somewhat concerned about the outdoor venues in the wintertime.
Crystal Palace Sparrows @ Coventry C.C.
Brighton Beach @ London Athletic
Coventry C.C. @ Erfurt
Erfurt @ Crystal Palace Sparrows
Brighton Beach @ Crystal Palace Sparrows
London Athletic @ Coventry C.C.
Brighton Beach @ Coventry C.C.
London Athletic @ Erfurt
Erfurt @ Brighton Beach
Crystal Palace Sparrows @ London Athletic
Coventry C.C. @ Crystal Palace Sparrows
London Athletic @ Brighton Beach
Erfurt @ Coventry C.C.
Crystal Palace Sparrows @ Erfurt
Crystal Palace Sparrows @ Brighton Beach
Coventry C.C. @ London Athletic
Coventry C.C. @ Brighton Beach
Erfurt @ London Athletic
Brighton Beach @ Erfurt
London Athletic @ Crystal Palace Sparrows
Title Match 5
at: Preston Park Velodrome
in: Brighton, England
World Match 2
at: Preston Park Velodrome
in: Brighton, England
Wednesday, June 25 – London, England
Cut day for the Crystal Palace Sparrows and its basically a whole new team. Gone is owner George Meredith. He sold the team and today the new ownership group lead by James Henry Greatland took over control. Their first act was to dismiss Goraidh Kimball as head coach. They then proceeded to let both pending free agents also go. Those players were Todd Perkins and Ivor Johnson. Ike Herbertson was moved down to the Middle position, Graeme Radclyffe was moved down to the Cleanup position, Alwyn Attaway was moved up to the First Option position, and Ewart McAfee was moved down to the Second Option position. The third option position was left open. The Leadoff position was also left open it is expected to be filled by Gareth O’hAnnagain who has a letter of intent signed with the Sparrows.
Thursday, June 26 – Coventry, England
Coventry C.C. holds their cut day. Gethin Beake is returning as the head coach. The pending free agents he had to deal with were Dylan Regan and Wiley Nichols. The team knew they were going to release Nichols to free agency. They informed him of this early in the morning. Dylan Regan however was another subject. Regan of course came to Coventry in the first offseason. He was essentially the first major free agency move. However, his signing was early on seen as unnecessary and started the sequence of events that lead to the departure of coach Seosaidh Perkins and rider Urien Judd. Team owner John Kemp Starley was said to have never liked Regan. He wanted Coach Gething Beake to release Regan to free agency. Coach Beake however attempted to talk Starley out of it. He believed Regan was not a long-term solution to the teams needs but he could serve a purpose this year. Beake suggested that they sign Regan and then try and trade him next offseason. Starley considered it. By late afternoon when no decision had come his way Regan informed the team he was going to make the choice for them. He decided to declare himself a free agent. He said ultimately if the team had to think that long about it they really didn’t want him, and he didn’t want to be a part of something like that. Marc MacCionaodha was moved up to Leadoff, Donal Munro was moved down to Cleanup, Ed Lincoln was moved down to First Option, and Grigor O’Dubhghaill was moved down to Third Option.
Friday, June 27 – Bronx, New York
Cut day for Fordham C.C. Leary Abrahams remains the coach. He had free agents Cleve Woods and Leo Hayden to deal with. The team knew they were going to let Hayden go to free agency. What caught them off guard however was that Cleve Woods decided to make himself a free agent as well. Usually when top level free agents like him become available they already have a team to go to in mind and they sign a letter of intent with that team as soon as they become free agents. This was not the case for Woods. He told reporters that he will either sign with Saratoga or Erfurt. With his departure no team has more then a single top speed rider. In the past years Brighton and Fordham have been stacked so deep in comparison to their competition that it was almost a given from the start that they would win the championships. This coming year however things look like all but one team (who ever does not get Cleve Woods) will be competitive for the championship. With Woods departure some changes were made to Fordham’s depth chart. Urien Judd was moved up to Middle and Trace Buchanan was moved up to Cleanup.
Manhattan, New York
The New York Velo League released their schedule for 1885:
Fordham C.C. @ Jersey P.C.
Saratoga Jockeys @ New York Jumbos
New York Jumbos @ Fordham C.C.
Jersey P.C. @ Saratoga Jockeys
Jersey P.C. @ New York Jumbos
Fordham C.C. @ Saratoga Jockeys
Jersey P.C. @ Fordham C.C.
New York Jumbos @ Saratoga Jockeys
Fordham C.C. @ New York Jumbos
Saratoga Jockeys @ Jersey P.C.
New York Jumbos @ Jersey P.C.
Saratoga Jockeys @ Fordham C.C.
Title Match of New York III
at: Jerome Park Racetrack
in: Bronx, New York
World Match 2
at: Preston Park Velodrome
in: Brighton, England
Monday, June 30 – Freehold Borough, New Jersey
Cut day for the Jersey P.C. All riders are coming back with very little adjustment to the roster. In order to do this the team let Coach Heddwyn O’Sirideain go. The move is troubling to O’Sirideain. The coach started his career with London Athletic and found little success there. He was hired by the NYVL to coach the Jersey P.C. before that team even had an owner. In that time, he discovered star rider Zeph Jack and built Jersey into a true contender. He felt he had resurrected his career here, but the new ownership has decided they want to find a coach who is their choosing. The move also allowed the ownership to resign both free agents Greg Revie and Donny Neville. Neville was moved up to the Cleanup position, Berry O’Meadhra was moved up to the First Option position, and Forbes Ellery was moved down to the First Option position. The team did have some brief talks with the Saratoga Jockeys about a possible trade of Berry O’Meadhra, but nothing came of those talks.
Tuesday, July 1 – Saratoga Springs, New York
Cut day for the Saratoga Jockeys. Coach Clancy Bloxam was brought back but he was tasked with two things keeping Cat Christophers on the team and getting Cleve Woods to commit to coming to Saratoga. Neither happened. Christophers and Amhlaidh Mathewson were the pending free agents. The team wanted to resign Christophers and let Mathewson go to make room for the coming of Cleve Woods but if Christophers would not resign then they wanted to retain Mathewson. So, most of the morning was talks with Christophers. Trouble was they were not the only ones talking to him. London Athletic had sent Coach Wesley Moore to New York to try and convince him to come join their team. Christophers considered both and then decided he was going to become a free agent. Upon hitting the market, he signed a letter of intent with London Athletic. Had he stayed many felt a starting lineup of him, Cleve Woods, and Shelly Salmon could have been a championship contender. Once he had formally left the team negotiated with and resigned Amhlaidh Mathewson. They then proceeded to try and convince Cleve Woods to sign a letter of intent with them. He would not say he is going to keep his options of either Saratoga or Erfurt intact. The Saratoga Jockeys however decided to move ahead as if he is coming. For that reason, they moved Shelley Salmon down to the Middle position to leave the Leadoff position open in anticipation of Cleve Woods arrival.
Wednesday, July 2 – Manhattan, New York
Cut day for the New York Jumbos. First order of business for owner P.T. Barnum was to inform Coach Tearlach Thorburn he would not be asked to return. The move was no surprise to anyone. What did surprise folks was that as soon as he became a free agent, Coach Thorburn signed a letter of intent with Erfurt. The next move for the team was to welcome Padrig Paterson who they acquired in a trade with Brighton Beach. They assigned him to the Leadoff position right away. They then dealt with pending free agents Lon Kingsley and Larrie Kelsey. Kelsey was released to free agency without discussion. The team however was willing to resign Lon Kingsley and they did. Boyce Durant was moved down to the Middle Position, Grigor Rollins was moved down to the Cleanup position, Greg Dickman was moved down to the First Option position, and Lon Kinsley was moved down to the Second Option position. The Third Option Position remains open.
Thursday, July 3 – Erfurt, Germany
The first day of Coaching week is action packed. Tearlach Thorburn becomes the first to sign with Erfurt as he becomes their first head coach.
It had long been rumored that Brighton assistant coach Andrus Ainsworth was the front runner to become the next head coach of the Crystal Palace Sparrows. Today those rumors were verified as he signed on with the Sparrows.
Manhattan, New York
In what is not much of a surprise Rearden Lane signed as the head coach of the New York Jumbos today. Lane had had a letter of intent with them. Lane comes to a team that has never won a game, while in his career he has only 1 single loss. Can he turn this poor franchise around without damaging his own legacy?
Freehold Borough, New Jersey
In the biggest surprise of the night Kieron Adkins signed as the head coach of the Jersey P.C. Adkins was the first American to ride in the RVA. A native of Philadelphia he has spent the last four years with Brighton Beach, three as an assistant coach. He now comes back to the states to run the team nearest his home town. Brighton Beach had had him in mind to run their team but once again this offseason they seem to lose out.
Friday, July 4 – Brighton, England
Today Samuel Laing, owner of Brighton Beach, meet with two candidates for his team’s head coaching job. The first was Kieron Emmett an assistant coach with Crystal Palace Sparrows and the second was Heddwyn O’Sirideain the former head coach of Jersey P.C.
Monday, July 7 – Brighton, England
Today Brighton Beach officially hired Heddwyn O’Sirideain as their next head coach.
Tuesday, July 8 – Erfurt, Germany
Today was the first signing day, expansion signing day, for Erfurt. Before they got to that business however their owner, Carl Thieme, released the name, logo, and uniforms for the team. The team will be called the Erfurt Velo Team or Eurfurt Velo Mannschaft in German. The logo and uniforms are shown below. The logo features beech and oak leaves wrapping around two circles, one large and one small. The large circle on the bottom has the words Erfurt Velo Mannschaft inscribed across it. While the smaller circle on top features the Wheel of Mainz a symbol of Erfurt that has presence on the cities coat of arms. Beech and Oak leaves were chosen because they are trees commonly found in the woods surrounding Erfurt. As for signing day, the team signed three players; Ffransis McNeill formerly of London Athletic, Todd Perkins formerly of Crystal Palace Sparrows, and Ivor Johnson also formerly of Crystal Palace Sparrows. McNeill and Perkins were given 1-year contracts each. Johnson was given a 2-year contract. McNeill was assigned to the First Option position, Perkins was assigned to the Second Option position, and Johnson was assigned to the Third Option position.