CRADLEY Heathens have withdrawn from the National League but will still race on next year in the National Trophy.

Fans of the nomadic club won't get to follow them throughout the usual campaign and will instead have to make do with occasional Trophy fixtures in 2018.

Club officials entered the competition for the first time to ensure the world famous name survives into a ninth season since their relaunch.

All home meetings will be raced at Wolverhampton’s Monmore Green Stadium after making the decision not to take Birmingham up on the offer to race at Perry Barr.

Manager Will Pottinger has already pledged his commitment to stay in charge of the team and will be looking to use a settled squad of riders.

They’ll face rivals Birmingham, Buxton, Coventry and Stoke home and away in a bid to make it to the final at the first attempt.

Co-promoter Gary Patchett said: “When we brought the Heathens back to the track in 2010 the longevity of the club was dependent on our success or failure to find a site suitable to develop into a permanent base.

“There is no prospect of that happening anytime soon.

“Whilst we thank David Mason for extending an invitation for the club to use Perry Barr again it is not viable for us to do so.

“We made a pledge to our supporters to do everything in our power to keep the club on track next season and this was the only option open to us.

“We thank the other member clubs of the NL for allowing us the opportunity to keep the name of this great club alive.”