Johnston will be replaced by Swiderski

EVENING Star Witches team manager Pete Simmons today confirmed that Steve Johnston will be the rider who will drop down to replace Piotr Swiderski in the Ipswich reserve berth.

Elvin King

EVENING Star Witches team manager Pete Simmons today confirmed that Steve Johnston will be the rider who will drop down to replace Piotr Swiderski in the Ipswich reserve berth.

And high on the agenda of a club meeting to be held at the weekend will be whether to re-declare the club's one to seven and bring in a new rider for injured skipper Chris Louis.

The flying Swiderski has played a leading part as the Witches have roared up the Elite League table to take pole position after seven consecutive victories.


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And Simmons is confident Johnston can help to keep the good work going once the team changes kick in on the introduction of fresh averages for the visit of Poole to Foxhall Stadium on Monday, June 9.

Christened 'Polish Pete' by his team for the way he drives his riders on in similar fashion to his opposite numbers in the more intense Polish League, Simmons said: “Steve's average has been worked out by Mike Smillie to be marginally less than Tobi Kroner.

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“So he will drop down to number six where I am sure he will do a great job; similar to helping Coventry win the league last year when he had spells in the reserves.

“Mike, John and Chris Louis and myself will be sitting down at the weekend to discuss a permanent replacement for Chris (Louis) who becomes our number three meaning we lose the facility to book a guest for him.

“Yes, we are looking for a replacement, but it depends on two things.

“Whether we can attract a suitable rider to agree to come, and also convince ourselves that he would score more than four or five points. That level of scoring would not be good enough.

“We will take into the equation whether it would be best to utilise the rider replacement facility, and if so whether to use it at number two, four or five.”

Jarek Hampel would be the only rider ineligible to take an extra ride for Louis from June 9 - and this might be the option the Witches use, for the time being at any rate.

“Our guests came up trumps in our three away wins on the trot,” added Simmons. “But this facility has gone now and we have a decision to make.

“We would have been happy to have won one of those three away meetings, and Eastbourne was a milestone.

“But we knew that Wolverhampton were there for the taking and despite machine and fitness problems we triumphed.

“And when it came to Poole with Chris Harris in our side we knew we had to give it a real go - and we did.”

Simmons was on the Evening Star Witches stand at the Suffolk Show this week with Chris Louis, Steve Johnston and Chris Schramm all in attendance and Robert Miskowiak's bike on show on the BBC Radio Suffolk stand.

“We chatted to a huge number of people and handed out tons of club material,” said a delighted Simmons.

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