Joe Jacobs returns to Mildenhall Fen Tigers as their new big No.1 and his hoping to lead them to glory in 2014. And Josh Bates too feels this year is going to be a big year for him

The Mildenhall Fen Tigers Speedway press day at Mildenhall Stadium, West Row. Back L-R: Brendan John

The Mildenhall Fen Tigers Speedway press day at Mildenhall Stadium, West Row. Back L-R: Brendan Johnson, Joe Jacobs, Danny Halsey (on bike), Connor Coles, Josh Bates, Front L-R: Jack Kingston and Connor Mountain. - Credit: Archant

Joe Jacobs returns to West Row in 2014 looking for a big season as No.1 star for Mildenhall Fen Tigers.

The 20-year-old Ipswich-born racer rode for Coventry Storm last year, after racing for Mildenhall in 2012.

But the former Farlingaye School pupil has returned to west Suffolk to help bring glory back to a Fen Tigers side who missed out on silverware in 2013. It’s a challenge he is looking forward to.

“I’m really glad to be back,” Jacobs said at the Fen Tigers’ press and practice day.

“There is no pressure on me, even though I’m riding at No.1

“Last season I guested in one meeting at the end of the year for the Isle of Wight at Mildenhall and it went well. I like the track.

“And I expect to score double figure scores wherever I go with Mildenhall, home and away.”

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Jacobs has a busy season ahead.

As part of the new initiative in British Speedway to fast-track youngsters into Elite League sides, Jacobs has been drafted to ride for Wolverhampton in the EL.

He is also racing for Peterborough in the Premier League.

“It’s going to be more than 100 meetings this season,” Jacobs said.

“But I don’t mind that. It’s good for my progression and already I’m getting help from other riders racing in the Elite League with Wolverhampton.”

Jacobs forms a strong heat leader trio of himself, captain Daniel Halsey and Josh Bates.

Eighteen-year-old Bates is riding for Sheffield in the Premier League and scored five points on Sunday in the Tigers win at Scunthorpe.

It’s all valuable experience he hopes to bring to West Row this year.

“I feel this is the year I have got to produce some big performances in the National League,” he said.

“I want to score double figures wherever I race for Mildenhall. I’ve been working on my gating in the winter and I think it’s really starting to get me somewhere.

“We have a really strong heat-leader trio with me, Dan (Halsey) and Joe (Jacobs).

“The other boys are all capable of improving too. It should be a good season.”

Meanwhile, Mildenhall chairman Kevin Jolly admitted to being ‘as excited as any time in my speedway career’, about the Fen Tigers side of 2014.

“I’ve been in some good teams, especially when I rode at Ipswich,” he said.

“But I’m as excited as any time in my speedway career with this team.

“I really believe we have a mixture of youth, experience and more importantly. racers.

“We have a great top three and Jack Kingston finished second at Plymouth the other week in the British U-21 semi-finals.

“Our two reserves show every potential and Brendan Johnson, I think, is on a very false average. He can improve on that.

“I know the fans will be entertained and I can’t wait for the season to start.”

The season indeed starts for Mildenhall this Sunday, with a National Trophy fixture at home to Stoke. A repeat of 2012 would be nice at West Row, when the Fen Tigers won everything in sight. Certainly a year of on-track excitement looks on the cards for Fen Tigers’ fans.