We’ll prove the doubters wrong says Olly

OLLY Allen is backing Peterborough to prove the doubters wrong this season and make a serious challenge for an Elite League play-off place.

OLLY Allen is backing Peterborough to prove the doubters wrong this season and make a serious challenge for an Elite League play-off place.

The Brit is back at the East of England Showground this year – the place where it all started for him in 1997 – and has already made a bright start to the new campaign.

He won Berwick’s Fence Fund Challenge on Saturday night with a 15-point full-house, and then followed that up with 6+3 in the Panthers season-opening victory on Monday against Ryan Sullivan’s select team.

That tally included a come-from-behind victory against World Champion Greg Hancock – a feat that helped him scoop the ‘Man of the Match’ award.

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But the Panthers themselves have been written in many pre-season predictions, although Allen is confident his new team can prove the ‘experts’ wrong and qualify for the end-of season title shoot-out.

He said: “It sounds as if a lot of people have been writing us off this year, but I know the team and management don’t feel that way and are really excited by what we have here. We honestly feel we can push for the play-offs.

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“The key will be away from home though. We should be okay at the Showground, but we do need to improve on last season’s away showings.

“That was something that was blatantly obvious last year and it was also something we at King’s Lynn spoke about when we were plotting our own late season push for the play-offs.

“But this year the Panthers look a lot more solid all down the order – as was proved by our scoring on Monday – and we now look to have a team that can win on our travels.

“We have a good mix of youth and experience in the side which also includes guys who are still to hit their peak.

“When you put a team together each winter you have to try and do it with riders who can improve their starting averages. I think we’ve got that in abundance with five, possibly even six riders who can increase them. If they can achieve that then it will transfer into a winning team and as a result we won’t be far away at the end of the season.”

Allen has also revealed how he’s been waiting a decade to wear the Red-and-Black of the Panthers again having initially cut his teeth in the sport fifteen years ago with the Thundercats side. The 29-year-old did make a brief return to the Showground in 2002 but the ten-year wait to represent the club again is one that has a huge meaning in the Allen household.

He added: “Because me and my dad both rode here and I actually started my career here, the club means an awful lot to the family. I must admit it’s really cool to be back.

“It’s taken longer than I wanted it to but now it’s finally happened I couldn’t be more pleased. To be honest it’s my dream move.

“I’ve always ridden the Showground well and as soon as winter contract negotiations started I was excited by the prospect of returning and decided there was only one place I wanted to be.”

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