Fen Tigers name six, but one more proving a headache

MILDENHALL Fen Tigers have confirmed six of their starting line-up for the 2013 National League season.

MILDENHALL Fen Tigers have confirmed six of their starting line-up for the 2013 National League season.

British Under-19 champion Stefan Nielsen will lead the team, backed by the experience of Dan Halsey who returns for a third season in the Fen Tigers colours. Aaron Baseby makes his full time return to West Row along with the Fen Tigers teenage duo of Josh Bates and Nathan Stoneman who made hugely successful debut seasons in 2012. They’ll be joined by new boy Liam Rumsey who moves from Stoke Potters.

Following Joe Jacobs’ departure it’s the final heat leader slot that’s proving a headache to fill. Club chairman Kevin Jolly said, “We thought we had the team nailed down and were ready to announce it, when Joe got the offer to join Glasgow in the Premier League.

“We have always said Mildenhall is a club where we want to develop riders so they can reach the next level, which Joe has now done and we are thrilled we have played a big part in that and wish him well for the future.

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“But it has left us with a bit of a headache, as a lot of the riders who expressed an interest in coming to us earlier in the winter have now signed elsewhere or are no longer available.”

“Our number one target was Robert Branford,” Jolly revealed, “but he has now decided to stay in Australia and not race in the UK in 2013. We spoke to Gary Irving, but he has decided to concentrate on the Premier League this year and not ride in the National League. Another rider we looked at has now been offered a big sponsorship to stay where he raced last year and yet another we had talks with after he missed virtually the whole of last season, again seems set to stay put.

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“Having said that we are pursuing various options and I am confident with more or less eight points to play with, we will find the right man who will slot in and make it another successful season at West Row.”

Jolly continued, “We all saw the huge progress made by Stefan and Josh last year. Nathan looked a fantastic prospect until he broke his leg and has huge potential for this season. Dan is a rock steady performer who will do a great job again and we all know Aaron will do well again for us. As soon as we knew he wasn’t going back to Stoke we moved quickly to snap up Liam Rumsey. Myself, Chris (Louis) and Michael (Lee) have seen enough of him to believe he is a steal on his current three point average and will be another success story for Mildenhall. I know all our fans will give him a warm welcome and lots of support as he dons the Fen Tigers’ colours.”

“There is plenty of excitement in store for the National League in 2013,” Jolly concluded, “especially with new names like Coventry and Kent to freshen things up. There is no way it’ll be a two horse race like it was last season, but I am confident that, once we complete the jigsaw in the next few weeks, Mildenhall will have a team that will be among the title contenders again!”

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