Ipswich Witches unveil team for 2012

SPEEDWAY: Ipswich ‘Sackers’ Witches will include five Australians in their 2012 side named this morning.

Captain Kevin Doolan, reserves Cameron Heeps and Rohan Tungate – all Aussies – had already been named by the Witches management. And it has been revealed today, fellow Aussie racers, Taylor Poole and Dakota North, will be joining them in the Witches set-up.

The septet is completed by Dane, Morten Risager, and Frenchman, Mat Tresarrieu, who both return to Foxhall for a second season.

However, there is no place for local boy Jerran Hart, or fellow Brits Chris Schramm and Chris Mills, who all began the 2011 season in Witches colours.

It’s a bold move by the Witches management tracking a team so young (four riders are 21 or under), and whose combined average is 41.15, well under the 42.5 point limit.

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But director of speedway, Chris Louis, is very excited about the team put together.

“We have a team to excite and entertain,” he said.

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“Winning is most important, and I’m confident this team will be successful. People will support the team for different reasons and different riders – fans and sponsors alike – and I know, if nothing else, they will enjoy watching the start of Cameron Heeps’ and Rohan Tungate’s racing careers.

“We will have the excitement of Mat Tresarrieu, the experience of Kevin Doolan and Morten Risager and more exciting Aussies, Taylor Poole and Dakota North.

“The blend has got to be right, and I think we have got it. I know when you get a group of riders together all from the same country, as we have with the Aussies, they will gel, they will bond and it will only benefit the team.”

North (his first name is Dakota because his dad has a love of aeroplanes!), will be the fans’ surprise addition to the Witches squad, although if he repeats the antics of his only visit to Foxhall in 2011, when he rocketed to a paid 21-point maximum for Somerset, he will soon become a firm favourite.

Tresarrieu is one who many felt may not return in 2012 because of his massive continental commitments.

But he impressed in Witches colours when he came in to replace the injured Schramm last season, and will be welcomed back by many, especially with those continental commitments greatly reduced.

While Witches assets Doolan and Risager were always likely to get a second season at Foxhall, as well as Poole, it’s at reserve where Ipswich will hope to reap rewards, with all eyes on Heeps and Tungate.

“I said I wanted to build the club asset-base up and I want the club to head back to the glory days, make no mistake that is my intention,” Louis added.

“Next year I hope to have as many of the riders living locally, with almost all of them being based in Ipswich and Suffolk.”

The only disappointing note for Louis is the club’s inability to track any British riders in 2012.

“I’ve always beaten the drum about British riders, so I’m going to get flak over not having any in the team,” he admits.

“I can assure you no-one is more devastated than me there are not English riders in our team, especially having to let Jerran Hart, Chris Schramm and Chris Mills go.

“But the harsh reality is we want to win, as well as entertain our fans, who deserve it, and I think the team we have put together will do that.”

n Season tickets will be on sale at Foxhall Stadium tomorrow and next Saturday, 10am-1pm. For download application forms, or for direct debit payment, go to the Ipswich Witches website www.ipswichwitches.co.uk

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