Justin Sedgmen says he wants to win league with Ipswich Witches – but understandably has plenty to say in forthright interview

Justin Sedgmen leads the way from from Jye Etheridge, left and Kyle Newman.

Justin Sedgmen leads the way from from Jye Etheridge, left and Kyle Newman. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Justin Sedgmen has told Ipswich Witches fans he would like nothing more than to win the league with the Foxhall Heath outfit, despite all that has gone on over the weekend.

Justin Sedgmen working on his machine. The Aussie wants to win the league with Ipswich but admits Br

Justin Sedgmen working on his machine. The Aussie wants to win the league with Ipswich but admits British speedway needs to take a look at itself. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The 25-year-old Mildura-based Aussie racer was dropped by the Witches on Sunday afternoon, only to be re-instated hours later after the Witches’ revamped team was deemed ineligible.

Naturally, it has left a slightly bitter taste in Sedgmen’s mouth, mainly with the thought of what could have happened to him had he not agreed to stay.

However, he doesn’t just blame Ipswich for what happened, but more the sport for the mass toing and froing of riders this season.

“I don’t have any problem with Ipswich, the team or the fans,” Sedgmen said.

“Yes, I could have told them to get lost after what happened, but I was never going to, that’s not me.


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“Just as well it was perhaps me they were trying to get rid of, because others would have said, get lost, I’m sure.

“But I just want to just get on now and help Ipswich win the league. It’s not going to be easy, it’s a tough league and we are doing well already, up in the top three.”

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Sedgmen has had, by anyone’s standards a troubled 2017 season as he originally signed for Belle Vue, only to be axed by them. Then onto Rye House, where he only rode once, before being replaced – and he was set to be let go by the Witches.

Witches Director of Speedway Chris Louis (left) and team manager Ritchie Hawkins. It hasn't been the

Witches Director of Speedway Chris Louis (left) and team manager Ritchie Hawkins. It hasn't been the best of weeks for the Witches, on and off track. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

“Maybe I’ve been the one this year who has had it very tough, I’ve been the scapegoat at clubs,” he said.

“All I will say is that I’ve been playing things over in my mind about the weekend just gone and I’m wondering what would have happened to me if I had been just sacked and not re-instated. I wouldn’t have had time to get a club. My season could have been over – my career even.

“I don’t have visa problems, I tick all the boxes there. But I could have had it taken away from me because of careless actions.

“Ironically, I was going to release a press statement over the weekend telling Witches fans I know I haven’t been doing it for them and I’m determined to finish the season strong.

“That’s still my view, although I never got round to the press release!

“I’m not happy my average has dropped. I have pride and I want to get it back over seven points.

“I know people think I’m just whinging, but I’m not, speedway in Britain needs to take a long, hard look at itself at the moment.”

Sedgmen also spoke of comments he has had from some fans regarding his sacking and re-instating at Foxhall.

Witches promotor Chris Louis congratulates Connor Mountain after a Witches 5-1 in heat two of the Ip

Witches promotor Chris Louis congratulates Connor Mountain after a Witches 5-1 in heat two of the Ipswich v Newcastle meeting last week. Mountain has come on leaps and bounds in 2017. Photos: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

While most have been positive, praising him staying, one or two haven’t.

“Fans are entitled to their opinions, but they must understand speedway is a much smaller sport than say football,” he said.

“Footballers probably don’t look at social media, all the rubbish they get, they ignore it, but in speedway it’s a much smaller club, close knit, comments can hurt.”

Meanwhile, Sedgmen admitted he was horrified to hear that, along with himself, young reserve Connor Mountain was set to be axed by the Witches.

“Young Connor Mountain was going, he was going to be lost to the Championship. What for? That’s crazy.

“He’s a great young English talent, he should be looked after.”

Director of speedway at Ipswich Chris Louis says the whole episode could turn out to have a positive effect and was full of praise for Sedgmen and Mountain for their attitudes, saying he had long discussions with Sedgmen.

“All I can say is that it speaks volumes for the club and the two riders that both agreed straightaway to keep racing and giving their best for the Witches,” Louis said.

“In a strange way, this may well have a very positive effect on us and I’m very proud of both riders that they feel strongly enough about the club to stay.”

The Witches entertain table-toppers Glasgow on Thursday night at Foxhall in what is sure to be a humdinger of a meeting against the current league leaders.

Just seven days after losing at home to Edinburgh, the Witches need to bounce back and cannot afford another defeat.

“The meeting against Edinburgh was disappointing for the fans, of course. But it was a very entertaining meeting in lots of other ways and sometimes speedway must remember it is an entertainment,” Sedgmen added.

“Glasgow will be tough. As I said, we can already be proud of our season, but it would be nice to win the league.

“I just want to put the weekend behind me now and get on and finish the season well.”

Kids go free to Foxhall to watch the Witches, all summer holidays.

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