Bjerre brothers leave King’s Lynn for Panthers

PETERBOROUGH have announced a new-look team which will line-up to challenge for the 2012 Elite League title.

PETERBOROUGH have announced a new-look team which will line-up to challenge for the 2012 Elite League title.

It’s almost all-change from 2011 as Panthers bosses look to maintain their consistent form at the Showground but also gather important Elite League points on the road, where their challenge faltered this year.

Panthers have built a team that has scoring power all down the order and in a further show of their Championship intentions they have also revealed that highly-respected former Danish team manager Jan Staechmann will be joining the management set-up in a joint role with current team boss Trevor Swales.

Leading the Panthers on the track will be Grand Prix star Kenneth Bjerre who returns to the East of England Showground after a one-year loan spell with King’s Lynn. And also joining him after a loan period with the Norfolk club is his younger brother Lasse, who will sharing a doubling-up position with club asset Rene Bach.

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Retained from the 2011 side are popular Swede Linus Sundstrom who made massive strides in his first season in the top flight, and hot Dane Michael Jepsen Jensen will fill one of the reserve spots after impressing during a short spell in the red and black this year.

The other reserve position will be shared between two emerging British stars – Richard Lawson and Kyle Newman. Lawson displayed great improvement in a similar squad role in 2011, whilst Newman also gained Elite League experience with parent club Poole.

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Completing the much-changed Peterborough side will be Olly Allen and Jesper B Monberg. Allen joins on loan from Coventry having ridden for Ipswich and King’s Lynn in recent seasons, having started his racing career at the Showground with the Peterborough Thundercats back in 1997.

Experienced Dane Monberg, meanwhile, also makes a Showground comeback following his Elite League Championship winning campaign with the Panthers in 2006.

The revamped team totals fractionally below the 41.00 points limit and has been given the thumbs-up from the Showground club bosses.

Swales said: “We all know what happened last season, we just weren’t good enough away from home, and that’s why we missed out on the play-offs. This year we’ve built a team which we think and hope is going to challenge for some away wins, and we certainly want consistency home and away.

“We’ve built so many possible teams over the past two months or so, and to keep Michael at reserve was of paramount importance. We’re all of the opinion that he is going to be a trump card there for us.

“We did look very long and hard at a number of choices, and one of the big reasons we’ve gone the way we have is purely because it leaves Michael at reserve. We’ve gone for an out-and-out No.1 instead of a No.1 and No.2, we have a clear No.1 along with what we feel is a terrific reserve and plenty of strength in depth in the middle order.

“It’s also going to be terrific working with someone of Jan’s (Staechmann) experience in the sport, and hopefully we can all go forward and have a really good season.”

Co-promoter Julie Mahoney added: “We look to have a very solid team on track, but we’re all particularly pleased that Jan has agreed to join us.

“He has a wealth of experience which will enhance our management team and it’s also encouraging that he turned down other offers as the Panthers were always his first choice.

“It will be an entirely joint role with Trevor (Swales) and we’re sure the two of them will work well together as they bring different things to the role.

“Trevor works so hard on various things away from the track and to be honest we couldn’t run the club without him. So-much-so we will be applying for a promoters licence for him, so he’ll be able to further assist us, subject to his application being ratified by the BSPA.”

Staechmann said: “Joining Peterborough is a very exciting step for me, and getting to work with such a professional club is something I am looking very much forward to.

“I have had a good relationship with the promotion, and there has always been a good atmosphere whenever I have visited the Showground in recent years, as opposing team manager.

“I also look very much forward to working with Trevor Swales whom I have always got on great with, and I know all the riders, so hopefully we can hit the ground running.

“We have put together an exciting team that is brimming with potential, and can’t wait to get started.”

2012 PETERBOROUGH PANTHERS (starting averages in brackets):

Kenneth Bjerre (9.06), Linus Sundstrom (6.90), Olly Allen (6.31), Lasse Bjerre/ Rene Bach (5.25/ 5.15) - Doubling-up Jesper B Monberg (5.02) Michael Jepsen Jensen (5.00) Richard Lawson/ Kyle Newman (3.00/ 3.00) – Doubling-up

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