Gino Manzares was on Chris Louis’ shopping list for 2014 early this year

At LA Airport on Wednesday afternoon, Gino Manzares (centre) signs his Ipswich Witches contract with

At LA Airport on Wednesday afternoon, Gino Manzares (centre) signs his Ipswich Witches contract with Dream Team co-ordinator Steve Evans (left) and Rob Fieslar (sponsor and manager, right). - Credit: Archant

Ipswich ‘Sackers’ Witches promoter Chris Louis admitted American star Gino Manzares was on his shopping list for 2014, within a couple of weeks of last season getting underway.

Ipswich ‘Sackers’ Witches promoter Chris Louis admitted American star Gino Manzares was on his shopping list for 2014, within a couple of weeks of last season getting underway.

That wasn’t any reflection on the then-current Witches in the line-up either. It was just that Louis was impressed with the young American on his debut at Foxhall Stadium in the Star of Anglia, back in May.

That night, on borrowed equipment and on a track he had never seen, Manzares notched six points and beat some decent riders. His future with the Witches was born.

Signed now as a full Witches asset, Manzares flew back to the US yesterday after spending time in Australia, with Louis confident he had got himself a gem.


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“Gino impressed me with his no-fuss manner when he came over for the Star of Anglia, he didn’t stick his neck on the line and made few mistakes,” Louis said.

“He’s an experienced traveller and he’s ridden all over the world, but is an inexperienced rider when it comes to England. I know he is excited about coming to Foxhall.”

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Ipswich Witches are of course not adverse to American stars in their line-up. Back in the ‘80s Dennis Sigalos and John Cook lit up Foxhall Heath with their flamboyant, all-action nature.

If Manzares can bring that type of charisma to Foxhall, he is sure to be a big hit.

“It’s nice to bring an American back to Foxhall,” Louis added.

“Everyone knows how much Siggy and Cookie brought to the club. It would be great if Gino could light up Foxhall like they did.”

Manzares’ pedigree is sound and only last month he won the Rob Woffinden Memorial Trophy in Perth, beating Jason Doyle and Rohan Tungate in the final.

Meanwhile Louis is hoping young reserve Adam Ellis will push on in 2014 just as Cameron Heeps did this year.

Ellis has had a season at Foxhall now and Louis would love to see him follow in Heeps’ footsteps.

“I would love to see Adam have a big season,” Louis said.

“He’s a smashing lad and I honestly think he can put a point or two on his average.

“Look at what Cameron did last season, Adam must look to try and do that if he can.”

Heeps, Rohan Tungate, Morten Risager and Ritchie Hawkins all return to Foxhall in 2014, along with already-signed Richie Worrall, with Louis admitting at the end of last season he would happily work with any of his team again next year.

“I said at the end of the last campaign I would happily work with any of the seven who rode last season,” Louis said.

“But with us needing to trim nearly three points off the team average, that was never going to happen.

“I’m excited about the team.

“I want us to set our stall out from the off and finish stronger than we did last year.”

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