The Ipswich Witches are going to win the league. Don’t believe me? Read on and weep (or just weep!)

Chris Louis, left and Danny King. One changing the track, the other will be thrashing everyone on it

Chris Louis, left and Danny King. One changing the track, the other will be thrashing everyone on it!!! - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

OK, so I’m biased.

Cameron Heeps (yellow). Just look at the class. Must surely up his average this season

Cameron Heeps (yellow). Just look at the class. Must surely up his average this season - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

But that’s a prerogative not only for me, but for Chris Louis, Ritchie Hawkins and all Witches fans out there.

WE ARE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE!

Yes, for the first time since 1998 when the all-conquering dream team of Louis, Rickardsson, Gollob, Nicholls, Svab and Clouting ripped up the Elite League by storm, I predict Ipswich Witches are going to be lifting silverware come October.

Yes, I know, admittedly it’s the Championship/Premier League/thing, whatever you want to call it.

All-action, humdinger of a racer, Nico Covatti.

All-action, humdinger of a racer, Nico Covatti. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller


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And I know it’s supposed to be the second tier of racing in the UK, but come on... How many Elite League (sorry Championship, I mean, Premiership) teams do you think will come to Foxhall Heath and rip the Witches apart in 2017

And before Edinburgh fans jump up and down about their admittedly decent record at Foxhall over recent years – apart from last season’s play-offs of course (cough!), remember Craig Cook is at Workington this year.

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So, while I like the look of Lewis Bridger-led Berwick Bandits, Newcastle with the Steve Worrall/Robert Lambert partnership still very much in tact and Redcar’s all-action racing ream of Jason Garrity, Ben Barker and Charles Wright, it’s the Witches for me folks – and here’s my five-point remit as to why it’s silverware for the Witches.

A snip of a bargain for the Witches. And Puddletown is just a great place name, Kyle Newman

A snip of a bargain for the Witches. And Puddletown is just a great place name, Kyle Newman - Credit: Denis Murphy

1. DANNY KING

Now, if Danny King isn’t in the top three – no make that top one – averaged riders in the Championship by the end of this campaign, then I’ll give him a shot a hole and still thrash the pants off him round Ufford Park Golf Club.

I’m that confident that the Kingmeister will up his average, win the British title once more and lead the Witches to unparalleled success.

2 THE FOXHALL TRACK

Our track is undergoing some little ‘tweaks’ this season, to add to the little ‘tweaks’ done on it a few years ago.

Indeed, since Chris Louis retired, he hasn’t stopped making the track a bigger racing bowl. Gone are the one-line fits all days that Loobie Loo used to love – and excel at. The man was a genius around Foxhall – so was the Tiger of course – John Louis.

Anyhow, so why is changing the track going to benefit us? It may not to start off with, but look at the racers in the Witches team, King, Covatti, Schlein, Newman, Heeps, Mountain, Hume . . . hang on, that’s all seven. Bring it on!

3 KYLE NEWMAN

The Witches 2017 have added not just the brilliant Rory Schlein to their 2016 line-up, as well as a returning Heepmonster, Cameron Heeps, but they have (in my humble little gate four opinion) got the Championship’s key rider – Kyle Newman.

Newman is all potential. He is riding for the two best clubs in the country (in my little gate two opinion) Poole and Ipswich. What more could he want? He comes to Foxhall on a stupid, stupid average of six point something (it matters not). He lives in Puddletown, which is a great name for a place to live. And by October he’ll be challenging the KingMonster for the No.1 jacket – mark my words Kingy!

4 TRAVELLING FANS

Now, anyone who is anyone knows that Ipswich Witches fans are some of the best in the country. Despite being stuck out like a proverbial wart on the end of your little finger, here on the east coast of England, we travel.

We travel, because we have to travel. Indeed if Witches fans in 2017 are hoping to see many/any away performances from their heroes, then they are not only going to have to travel, but have to (Peterborough apart), travel big.

It’s like the Northern Premier League for Witches fans this year and as much as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Sheffield are all nice cities, they are all miles away. However, get there they will. The loyal Witches supporters want success... And this year, they’ll get it.

5 THE PROMOTION CARROT

Chris Louis is a shrewd operator. He knows promotion to the Premiership is in his team’s grasp this campaign and he knows the crowds will flock to see that happen. A hard-riding, hard-racing, all-action Witches septet this season should be good enough to not just grasp that carrot, but nibble on it until the deed is done and the league is won. This is our time Witches fans... Have my words ever let you down? Up the Witches #boomsong #pingpong!

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