Kelsey Dugard has backed Eastbourne Eagles’ new No.1 to shock a few people this season.

And he hopes to serve up some nice surprises himself after returning to his local club.

Dugard is back with the IT First Eagles as they prepare for the new National League season.

He will ride at No.2 and go out alongside top man Mark Baseby, with whom he rode at Isle of Wight last year.

Baseby has big shoes to fill at the top of the order as he follows on from last year’s star Adam Ellis and the leading light in 2015, Bradley Wilson-Dean.

But Dugard believes his experienced partner can make a big impression.

The Argus:

Mark Baseby has looked good in practice

He said: “You will be amazed what he can do on a bike.

“He has got the track record at Isle of Wight and we have had people like James Shanes, who scored a maximum at Elite League level, there.

“I think Eastbourne fans are doubting him and he thrives on that. He is an unreal rider. When people see him on the bike they will think, ‘Oh God!’

“Fair enough, in 2015 we had Brad at No.1 but it started off with Dave Mason and Mark beats Dave week in and week out.He might not be Adam Ellis but he will not be far off.”

Dugard, brother of team manager Connor and son of chairman Martin, believes his year away from Arlington has done him good.

He said: “I only had two crashes last season, the year before I had 21 or 23 or something. I know how to hang on to a bike.

“I know I can be independent and I don’t need someone looking after me all the time.

“It was good to get away. Everyone said it would do me good and it was fun – but it’s good to be back.”