Witches and Nicholls ready for Eagles

SCOTT Nicholls would have ridden for Great Britain in the World Cup Race-Offs in Poland last Thursday - if he had been asked.

Mike Bacon


Ipswich Witches v Eastbourne Eagles

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By Mike Bacon

SCOTT Nicholls would have ridden for Great Britain in the World Cup Race-Offs in Poland last Thursday - if he had been asked.

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The Ipswich Witches star has been left bemused and bewildered after British boss Rob Lyon left him out of the original team that rode at Peterborough, only to bring Lee Richardson back into the fold for the Race-Off, while Nicholls wasn't even spoken to.

“I'm disappointed about not being picked, but more importantly I think it is pretty bad management that I haven't even had the decency of a call from Rob,” Nicholls said.

“When I originally met Rob, I said I wanted to race for my country, but he phoned me and said I was having a tough time right now and perhaps it was best I didn't.

“OK, so he was giving the youngsters the chance, that's fine by me. But I never said I didn't want to be part of the team that rode in the Race-Off.

“So imagine my surprise when I don't even get a call from him, not a word. He hasn't spoken to me since the phone call to say I wouldn't be in the original five that started at Peterborough.

“I think that's a pretty poor way to treat someone who was captain of his country.

“I'm speaking out about this because so many people in Ipswich, friends and sponsors and in speedway, all kept asking me last week was I riding in Poland in the Race-Off? I just had to say I'd heard nothing.

“I think some people even thought I'd refused to ride which is completely untrue. I'd have love to have ridden.”

Nicholls, who in fairness to him has spent the last six years practically holding together a pretty ordinary and at times poorly organised Team GB side, rightly feels aggrieved.

And indeed if Lyon had chosen him in Leszno for the Race-Off, most know Great Britain would have made it into the final and perhaps even a rostrum place.

Away from the World Cup however, Nicholls will tonight be trying to help the Witches win against an Eastbourne side not far above them in the table.

Dawid Stachyra, who has a Polish commitment, is out for the home side, who tried, but failed to get Daniel Davidsson (eight-day ruling) and Mark Lemon (riding at Sheffield).

Carl Wilkinson continues in the No.7 role, but must be on thin ice after a run of low scores.

Eastbourne lost at Belle Vue on Monday by just eight points, despite being without Lewis Bridger, who was stuck in Poland having left his passport in a restaurant.

He has come in for stinging criticism from Eagles' fans and there are rumblings he is set to face a two-meeting ban, which would see him absent tonight. If he is racing however, he will be keen to make up for his non-appearance on Monday.


Ipswich: S Nicholls, T Kroner, R Miskowiak, D King, T Batchelor, TBC, C Wilkinson

Eastbourne: L Bridger, R/R, D Watt, C Woodward, L Dryml, S Gustafsson, R Kling



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