Two new riders revealed by the Witches

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches have 5.49 points with which to complete their 2008 speedway team after today announcing the signing of two more riders.Witches fans will be left hoping a big name is waiting in the wings after 36-year-old Steve Johnston and rookie Chris Schramm took the number of confirmed riders to a total of six.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches have 5.49 points with which to complete their 2008 speedway team after today announcing the signing of two more riders.

Witches fans will be left hoping a big name is waiting in the wings after 36-year-old Steve Johnston and rookie Chris Schramm took the number of confirmed riders to a total of six.

Australian Johnston rode for Ipswich in 1997 and last season after starting the season with Oxford he proved a trump card at reserve for Elite League champions Coventry.


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Johnston, who has an average of 5.41, is a bubbly personality and he has ridden for eight clubs in a 16-year British career.

The Ipswich public will not settle for another mediocre campaign, and Johnston will carry a great deal of responsibility as he will have to help Jarek Hampel, Chris Louis and Robert Miskowiak to take points of the top end of opposing teams.

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Schramm, a 23-year-old from Maldon, Essex, was the Witches number eight last season when he also rode for Newport in the Premier League.

He again won the fans' rider of the season award for the Wasps where he finished with 5.91 point average. This equates to a 3.00 point Elite League average with Schramm filling one of the Witches reserve berths.

The other rider to have signed 2008 forms for Ipswich is German Tobi Kroner, and many Ipswich fans will not be too happy with the formation of the side so far.

Johnston will give his best, but he is unlikely to up his average at his age and unless he finds a place at reserve he might struggle to consistently score freely at home - let alone away.

Schramm rode eight Elite League meetings last season, and like Jan Jaros in 2006 and Marcin Rempala and Zibi Suchecki last year he will need time to find his legs at this level.

Rider/manager Louis welcomed the signings. He said: “Steve is thrilled to rejoin us.

“He is possibly the best guy to have on your side of the pits to keep the right team atmosphere.

“He cannot wait to get started, and nor can Chris Schramm whose progress I have followed since helping him in Tarnov, Poland in 2006 during a World Under-21 semi-final.

“I am sure full-time Elite League speedway is what he needs to fulfil his potential.”

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