Billy Sanders' nephew signs for Panthers
PETERBOROUGH have snapped up New South Wales star Ricky Wallace - the fourth young Australian to join the club this winter.The 21-year-old is the great nephew of former World Finalist Billy Sanders and will be making his first serious racing trip to Britain.
PETERBOROUGH have snapped up New South Wales star Ricky Wallace - the fourth young Australian to join the club this winter.
The 21-year-old is the great nephew of former World Finalist Billy Sanders and will be making his first serious racing trip to Britain.
He will join recent captures Troy Batchelor, Taylor Poole and Dakota North who have all signed deals with the Readypower Panthers over the winter.
Wallace first came to the Panthers' attention when they were approached by long-time talent-scout, journalist and administrator Peter White who had him under his wing when he managed a New South Wales State side that raced against Queensland.
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He turned in several stand-out performances on the tour, including 16, paid 17, points at Pioneer Park, Ayr, where he outscored Alex Davies, Sam Masters and Kurt Shields who will all be making their Premier League debuts next season.
White's opinion was backed up by East of England Showground legend Mick Poole and his former Panthers' teammate Rod Colquhoun.
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Colquhoun, who was a member of Peterborough's all-conquering treble-winning side in 1992, said: “Every now and then a kid comes along who has that something special - Ricky is one of these special young riders.”
Peterborough Director of Speedway Peter Oakes said: “To some extent Ricky has slipped under the radar because there are so many young riders coming out of New South Wales at the moment, including our own Taylor Poole.
“It is something of a gamble because we have never actually seen him in action but he's taking an even bigger gamble, coming over to England.
“We have made a lot of background inquiries about Ricky and no-one has had anything but good to say about him.
“He's clearly a talented young rider and his determination to make it all the way was a major factor in our decision to offer him a contract.
“He was out for a while with a badly broken leg but he's shown over the last 18 months or so that he is completely over that and has been making a lot of progress although he obviously still has a long way to go.
“He doesn't have a team place over here but we are hoping he will get his chance, probably in the National League to begin with.
“He has a British passport which will be a decided advantage because it means he can race regularly in the National League and the first thing we want to do is arrange for him to attend a few practice days.”
It will be the second time that Ricky has been a Panther - he actually rode for the Penrith Panthers BMX team in Australia before switching to speedway!
He made a fleeting visit to Britain in 2008 when he had several after the meeting rides at several tracks, including Ipswich where Billy Sanders spent the bulk of his career.