Dak’s back at Alwalton

AUSTRALIAN Under-21 International Dakota North is the latest name to be added to Peterborough’s starting line-up for the new season.

AUSTRALIAN Under-21 International Dakota North is the latest name to be added to Peterborough’s starting line-up for the new season.

North is the fifth man to commit himself to the Readypower Panthers 2013 campaign, joining the previously announced; Linus Sundstrom, Kenni Larsen, Ryan Fisher and Norbert Kosciuch.

He returns to the Showground with a 3.47 starting average and the club hope to be in a position to reveal the remaining two riders over the next 2-3 weeks.

North was first seen in the UK with National League Mildenhall during 2009 having won the Australian Under-16 Championship two years earlier.

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Later that year he became a Peterborough asset and was subsequently loaned out to Premier League side Newcastle for the 2010 campaign. From forty-five official matches for the Geordies he averaged 5.40 (including bonus points) before moving south to Somerset in 2011.

A hand injury limited his track appearances for the Rebels but still managed nineteen Premier League fixtures for a 7.96 average. It was during 2011 that he was first seen officially in Panthers colours – doubling-up in the Elite League for nine matches - which returned a creditable 4.24 figure.

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2012 saw the 21-year-old represent his third PL club in as many years with Ipswich his next port of call. He competed in thirty-two meetings for the Witches – averaging 7.45 – and he also turned out twice for King’s Lynn in a doubling-up capacity early in the season. He was later declared in the Birmingham squad but never made an appearance for the Midland club.

Dakota, or Dak as he is affectionately known, is currently at home in his native Australia where he has just finished runner-up in his National Championship behind Panthers asset, Troy Batchelor.

Batchelor won the series at the weekend with a 60-point haul, with North’s score of 45 leaving him second but ahead of some of his more experienced compatriots, including; Cameron Woodward, Jason Doyle, Davey Watt, Mark Lemon, Sam Masters, Ty Proctor and Adam Shields.

Panthers co-boss Jan Staechmann is delighted to have North return to his parent club for the new season.

He said: “Dak is a Panthers asset and is a young man with plenty of ambitions in the sport. Having followed his exploits from a distance I think we have an exciting young rider who will fit in well with the rest of the team.

“Last season he rode for Ipswich in the Premier League whilst doubling-up with King’s Lynn, but this coming season he will focus his attention on being a Readypower Panther in the Elite League - which was an important factor in his coming on board.

“We had plenty of headaches last season from the double-up position due to rider availability and injuries, so it was important for us to address that situation and make sure we didn’t leave ourselves open to vulnerability in that department again. Dak fits the bill perfectly.

“I like the Aussie attitude to life and to racing, and I’ve been hearing good things about Dak for some time now. This includes recommendations from people that I trust including close friend, Australian Team Manager Mark Lemon, who speaks highly of Dakota and his potential in the sport.”

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