Patrick looking for this season’s big opportunity

PETERBOROUGH new-boy Patrick Hougaard believes his move to the Showground for the coming season gives him a big opportunity to progress in the sport.

PETERBOROUGH new-boy Patrick Hougaard believes his move to the Showground for the coming season gives him a big opportunity to progress in the sport.

Hougaard is determined to bounce back from an injury-hit 2012 campaign which ended with a serious accident in October when racing for Belle Vue in a KO Cup tie against Birmingham.

His first priority has been to regain fitness after the Kirkmansulme Lane smash which saw him suffer a broken bone in his hand, dislocated fingers and facial injuries including a broken nose.

But with that setback behind him, the 23-year-old Dane is relishing the prospect of a making a fresh start with the Readypower Panthers in 2013.

Hougaard said: “I normally work very hard every winter to get as fit as possible before the season starts. But this winter I have had to put quite a bit more energy into it because of the injury.

“I had an operation on my hand right after the accident in October, and after Christmas I had to have another one. But I’m good now and can’t wait for the season to start.

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“I’m very much looking forward to racing for Peterborough and having the other Danes around will be good as well.

“I get on well with Kenneth (Bjerre) and Kenni (Larsen), so I’m sure the team spirit is going to be very good, and I know Jan (Staechmann) from his time as Danish Coach.

“He is a good team manager. It’s always nice to have some Danish people around you, and with Jan it’s even better because we have worked together for quite a few years.”

Hougaard joins the Readypower Panthers on loan from Belle Vue, and club bosses would like to place on record their thanks to the Aces management for their co-operation with the deal.

The move has been made for the benefit of all parties with Hougaard’s average dropping to 4.98 last year having previously been up around the six-and-a-half point mark.

Hougaard believes the change of track can spark an upturn in fortunes, and he has stressed his commitment to league speedway as he seeks to achieve his goals in the sport.

He said: “I’m glad that other people believe in me and think my average is far too low. The past two years I have struggled with injuries, but I have also struggled at Belle Vue.

“I have tried so many different things, but I couldn’t get going at Belle Vue. My away scores have always been decent.

“Maybe I should have left Belle Vue a year or two before. It’s hard to say, but I believe if I have a home track I enjoy riding I can score some good points. And if you do well at home it will automatically affect your away form and on the continent in a positive way.

“My target is to do well for all the clubs I’m riding for, and I hope to put about two points on my average in the UK.

“I still believe there is a chance to get to the GPs one day, but first I need to do a lot better in the leagues and be a lot more consistent. So my focus is on my league racing.”

Hougaard has paid tribute to his backroom team who will be accompanying him in his move to Peterborough, and says preparations for the new season are going well.

He added: “I’d like to thank all the people around me. I have had the same team in the UK since I started at Belle Vue (in 2008). They are still keen to get back to speed and they are all doing an excellent job.