People don’t realise how competitive Ritchie is – Witches No.1 King on team boss Hawkins

Danny King (left) and Ritchie Hawkins

Danny King (left) and Ritchie Hawkins - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Witches captain Danny King has welcomed his best friend and former team-mate Ritchie Hawkins as the club’s new team boss.

Hawkins, who quit the sport last year after a devastating run of poor form and injury, is taking over the reins as team manager in 2016 – and King is delighted for his friend.

“I’m really happy for him,” King said.

“Things didn’t end the way he wanted them too last season, that’s for sure.

“When he finished with Ipswich, I kept trying to get him to come to meetings with me, but he wasn’t having it. He wanted to stay away.

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“So, I’m so glad he has been given this opportunity.

“I know he is really looking forward to it.

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“Ritchie likes to win, many people don’t realise how competitive he is.

“He comes from a speedway background which will mean he can help us, not just from a team managing point of view, but also with set-ups, a bit of spannering in the pits and other things.

“He’s got the whole package and I know he has big plans for the team.

“He’s laid back, but still very much a winner.”

While Hawkins is looking forward to his new team manager’s role, King had a word of praise for out-going boss Phil Hilton, who endured a tough 2015 that included a falling out with Hawkins last year.

“Phil did a really good job in the circumstances,” King said.

“He had never done anything like it before and he was under constant pressure because of the underperforming team he was managing.”

Meanwhile, King and his wife Clara are looking forward to the birth of their second son in April – a brother for Logan.

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