COMMENT: Bacon's early 2010 thoughts

TEAMS for the 2010 Elite League season are beginning to take shape with no fewer than four of the nine sides already complete.Back in the Elite League from the off are Hans Andersen (Belle Vue) and Scott Nicholls (Ipswich), who didn't line-up with a club at the start of 2009, while Darcy Ward is the big money mover so far of the close season, joining Poole from King's Lynn.

TEAMS for the 2010 Elite League season are beginning to take shape with no fewer than four of the nine sides already complete.

Back in the Elite League from the off are Hans Andersen (Belle Vue) and Scott Nicholls (Ipswich), who didn't line-up with a club at the start of 2009, while Darcy Ward is the big money mover so far of the close season, joining Poole from King's Lynn.

So how's it shaping up? Here I'll give you my early thoughts.

And don't forget you can follow me on www.twitter.com Mike_Bacon, and catch up on all the speedway news throughout the winter on www.lovespeedway24.co.uk.


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BELLE VUE ACES

1 Hans Andersen (9.15), 2 Peter Karlsson (8.66), 3 Patrick Hougaard (5.66), 4 Charlie Gjedde (5.27), 5 James Wright (4.91), 6 William Lawson (3.20), 7 Ricky Ashworth (3.97)/ Kyle Legault (3.49).

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Mike's thoughts: Great heat-leader duo in Andersen and Karlsson and if Gjedde comes to the party, they won't finish in the bottom two next year as they have in recent seasons.

COVENTRY BEES

1 Chris Harris (8.33), 2 Rory Schlein (7.25), 3 Ben Barker (6.66), 4 Filip Sitera (3.69), 5 and 6 TBA, 7 Josh Auty (3.03)/Ricky Wells (3.00).

Mike's thoughts: Much will depend on who else joins the Bees, Eddie Kennett is surely going to be one. 11.99 still to play with but I don't think - Kennett or not - they look strong enough.

EASTBOURNE EAGLES

1 Matej Zagar (9.15), 2 Simon Gustafsson (6.18), 3 Joonas Kylmakorpi (6.02), 4 Lukas Dryml (5.70), 5 Cameron Woodward (5.33), 6 Ricky Kling (4.31), 7 TBA.

Mike's thoughts: Too much reliance on Zagar here for my liking. If this team makes the play-offs I'll eat Ipswich Witches team manager Pete Simmons' hat.

IPSWICH WITCHES

1 Scott Nicholls (8.08), 2 Robert Miskowiak (7.69), 3 Daniel King (6.80), 4 Oliver Allen (6.29), 5 Claus Vissing (4.53), 6 Dawid Stachyra (3.89), 7. Linus Sundstrom (3.37)/ Carl Wilkinson (3.34).

Mike's thoughts: I'm not just saying this but this team has the potential to finish top three. It also has the ability to finish bottom two. Allen and King are key, while Vissing will need to up his game too.

LAKESIDE HAMMERS

1 Krzysztof Kasprzak (8.23), 2. Jonas Davidsson (7.97), 3 Daniel Davidsson (3.71). Still five to announce.

Mike's thoughts: Far too early to judge the Hammers. But Kasprzak and Jonas Davidsson are brilliant signings for the Hammers, who aren't likely to lose many at home. Adam Shields surely set to return.

PETERBOROUGH PANTHERS

1 Niels Kristian Iversen (7.80), 2 Kenneth Bjerre (7.69), 3 Troy Batchelor (7.01), 4 Lewis Bridger (6.77), 5 Karol Zabik (4.56), 6 Krzysztof Buczkowski (4.00), 7 Adam Roynon (3.00).

Mike's thoughts: Team spirit will determine the Panthers' season here I think. A lot of individuals, can they bond as a team? If they can, possible play-offs.

POOLE PIRATES

1 Chris Holder (8.76), 2 Bjarne Pedersen (7.76), 3 Davey Watt (6.94), 4 Darcy Ward (4.56), 5 TBA, 6 Leon Madsen (4.00), 7 Artur Mroczka (4.00).

Mike's thoughts: Won the race for Ward but much will depend on Bjarne Pedersen. Can't expect Ward to average more than eight points in his first EL season . . . can you?

SWINDON ROBINS

1 Leigh Adams (10.00), 2 Gregorz Zengota (5.00), 3 Thomas H. Jonasson (3.66). Mads Korneliussen. Still four to announce.

Mike's thoughts: Five riders left and just 18 points to play with, Simon Stead is surely likely to be one of the signings, but all this is not good news for the Robins. Losing manager Alun Rossiter to Coventry also a big blow.

WOLVERHAMPTON WOLVES

1 Fredrik Lindgren (10.43), 2. Tai Woffinden (7.28), 3 Joe Screen (6.35), 4 Nicolai Klindt (5.25), 5 Tyron Proctor (5.03), 6 Ludvig Lindgren (3.04), 7 Joe Haines (3.31).

Mike's thoughts: Losing Peter Karlsson is a big blow. Much will depend on Joe Screen, but I can't see this team retaining their title.

(N) WHAT do you think? It's early days but who are your favourites for the Elite League title in 2010? Let me know: mike.bacon@archant.co.uk , or comment below.

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