Witches close to finalising 2008 line-up

IPSWICH Witches rider/manager Chris Louis admits that the Elite League club has spread its net wide in a bid to build a successful 2008 speedway team.Louis, Jarek Hampel, Robert Miskowiak and Tobi Kroner are confirmed starters with Louis saying: “We are very close to completing the side.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Witches rider/manager Chris Louis admits that the Elite League club has spread its net wide in a bid to build a successful 2008 speedway team.

Louis, Jarek Hampel, Robert Miskowiak and Tobi Kroner are confirmed starters with Louis saying: “We are very close to completing the side.

“We are a long way down the road, and plan to make the last three announcements at the same time.


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“We have looked at most of the riders that we have been linked with us in the Press, including Belle Vue's Simon Stead.

“The key to having a good season is to bring in riders who can up their average, and Simon was one of them.

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“He is on the point of signing for Coventry on loan, and we have to accept there are a number of reasons why riders take the decisions they do.

“Finance can prove a barrier and so can the bright lights.

“The location of a club's track, the quality of its stadium - there are so many factors that come into the equation.

“I want to stress that we have been - and still are - working very hard on building a side, and there are a couple of riders we have missed out on who we would have liked to have signed.

“But the team we put together will be one we will be happy with. And one that can enjoy success.”

Louis hinted that two of the remaining names have already been secured, and it is a case of confirming the last rider before any announcements are made.

When building a team within a 38.85 combined points limit means the mathematics might not fit if the final signature is not obtained. So there might be some tinkering to do if 'Mr X' does not sign.

To stand a chance of improving significantly on last season, Ipswich need to bring in a top rider to spearhead the team along with Hampel - with Louis becoming a more than handy third string.

Former Reading man Matej Zagar, 24, and Wolverhampton's David Howe have been mentioned while Steve Johnston, who won the title with Coventry last season, and 2007 Witches team members Kim Jansson, Marcin Rempala and Chris Schramm cannot be ruled out for lower-order places.

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