Louis says he won't be quitting Witches

IPSWICH Witches stalwart John Louis today refuted suggestions that Thursday's speedway meeting at Foxhall Stadium will be his last as the Suffolk club's promoter.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Witches stalwart John Louis today refuted suggestions that Thursday's speedway meeting at Foxhall Stadium will be his last as the Suffolk club's promoter.

Louis will be celebrating the end of his 40th season since he first rode for the Witches when the traditional end-of-season 16-Lap Classic is staged.

But he says there is no truth in strengthening rumours that he will hand over to his son Chris during the winter.


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Louis, who confirmed without hesitation that Ipswich will remain in the Elite League in 2010, said: “I am in exactly the same position now as I have been every October since I took over as Witches promoter in 1989.

“Of course I would love Chris to take over the club one day, but there is no plan for that to happen.

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“Whether it comes sooner or later - or at all - remains to be seen.

“My dearest wish is that the club carries on and does well, but I have no plans to stand down.”

Louis did reveal that he sees himself slowing down in the not-too-distant future having reached pensionable age.

“I want to stay involved in speedway, but have an easier life,” he said. “But there are no plans at the moment.”

Louis is looking for changes at next month's British Speedway Promoters' Association annual conference to do away with much of the paperwork and make the sport easier for fans to follow.

He added: “There is so much paperwork these days and this must be looked at.

“Fans basically want to see who comes first, second and third and not concern themselves with too much more.

“I appreciate that equal teams have to be tracked, but other than that it should be made as simple as possible.

“And the sooner the sport in this country is run by someone with no financial involvement with speedway the better.”

Looking back on the Witches' season where they finished sixth in the table but were knocked out of the cup early on by Belle Vue, Louis said: “If we had tracked the side we had at the end of the season we would have qualified for the play-offs.

“It was an enjoyable year with the team that we originally selected not doing as well as we hoped although injuries to Leigh Lanham and Kozza Smith did not help.

“Piotr Swiderski did not live up to expectations, but once we made the switch we took off.

“We were fortunate that Scott Nicholls became available, and Troy Batchelor and Robert Miskowiak also came in and did well.

“And if we had had Australian young sensation Darcy Ward it would have made a huge difference. We had been working on him since November last year and agreed everything with his parent club King's Lynn.

“I have to feel aggrieved at the BSPA's decision to bar us from using him because he did not have an average. Of course he had an average; what difference should an assessed one make?”

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