Eastbourne Eagles have confirmed their return to professional racing – with former boss Jon Cook back at the helm.

Eagles will race in the second-tier Championship next season and have already signed four riders.

Tom Brennan and Georgie Wood, the star duo who led Eagles to the National League title last season, are on board.

Lewis Kerr will take one of the heat-leader positions and Alfie Bowtell has also been snapped up.

Cook was co-promoter and team manager at Eastbourne during some of their more successful times before leaving for Lakeside after the 2006 campaign.

Although the full management structure has not yet been announced, Cook will be involved.

Commercial manager Ian Jordan said: "The place is buzzing with excitement.”

Eagles have their three remaining riders lined up.

They will join Birmingham in making the step up.

The Championship offers a big improvement in racing quality from the National League, in which Eagles have raced for the last four seasons.

It is a largely northern-based league, including Scottish rivals Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as Berwick, Workington, Redcar, Newcastle, Scunthorpe and Sheffield.

Somerset have dropped into the Championship along with Leicester, which is the closest thing Eastbourne will have to a local derby.