Panthers hoping for a Good Friday

PETERBOROUGH begin their 2013 Elite League campaign with a tasty Bank Holiday double against near-neighbours King’s Lynn on Good Friday.

PETERBOROUGH begin their 2013 Elite League campaign with a tasty Bank Holiday double against near-neighbours King’s Lynn on Good Friday.

The Readypower Panthers host the Stars at the Showground at 2pm and then the two teams make a quick dash down the A47 for the 7.00pm return at the Norfolk Arena.

With both venues set to beat the recent bad weather it promises to be a Bank Holiday thriller with bumper crowds expected for what is a big date in the speedway calendar. Many clubs are opening their season over the weekend with every Elite League team in action in one form or another.

Peterborough will be hoping for a repeat of last year’s Easter programme when they beat King’s Lynn twice in the same day, but are likely to face a sterner test this time with the Norfolk outfit tipped to go a long way this season.

The Stars again track former Panthers Niels-Kristian Iversen and Mads Korneliussen, with crowd favourite Kozza Smith also returning, and are further boosted by the arrival of Australian star Rory Schlein on a full-transfer from Coventry. Ex-Great Britain International Simon Stead is another useful addition, along with Dane Nicolai Klindt coming in on loan from Wolverhampton and Swede Seb Alden arrives from 2012 Champions Swindon.

Peterborough also have something of a new-look about them this year which sees them hand debuts to winter loan recruits Kenni Larsen, Ryan Fisher and Patrick Hougaard, whilst Dakota North returns to the side for the first time since 2011. There are some familiar faces though, with Kenneth Bjerre again named captain in his seventh season with the club, and the ever-improving duo of Linus Sundstrom and Norbert Kosciuch are also welcomed back.

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Panthers team boss Jan Staechmann is delighted that the season is finally getting underway after all the interruptions because of the weather and is looking for his team to get off to a winning start.

He said: “We’re looking forward to getting out on track as a team, and hopefully the weather will be kind to us for a change.

“The lads are all itching to ride their bikes in anger, and with all the work that has been put in this week on getting the track ready after the past weeks of snow and frost, I can’t wait to see them do their stuff at the Showground.

“Hopefully we will get plenty of support from the terraces and start off our league programme on the right foot against bookies favourites King’s Lynn. A start like last season would be just the tonic.”

READYPOWER PANTHERS: Kenneth Bjerre, Ryan Fisher, Norbert Kosciuch, Kenni Larsen, Linus Sundström, Patrick Hougaard, Dakota North.

KING’S LYNN: Niels-Kristian Iversen, Simon Stead, Mads Korneliussen, Nicolai Klindt, Rory Schlein, Sebastian Alden, Kozza Smith.

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