Witches:Louis vows to remain a vital cog
STRICKEN Chris Louis today vowed to remain a vital member of the Ipswich Evening Star Witches speedway team.The 38-year-old skipper is likely to be out of action for most of the season after breaking his upper right arm.
STRICKEN Chris Louis today vowed to remain a vital member of the Ipswich Evening Star Witches speedway team.
The 38-year-old skipper is likely to be out of action for most of the season after breaking his upper right arm.
But the club's rider/manager intends to make full use of his manager tag to assist the Witches in the coming months.
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He will have a big part to play in the pits tonight when Eastbourne Eagles visit Foxhall Stadium (start 7.30pm) is an Elite League fixture.
He will also be travelling away to support the riders starting with trips to Eastbourne on Saturday, Wolverhampton on Monday and Poole next Wednesday.
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“I will not be helping team manager Pete Simmons as he is doing well enough anyway,” said Louis.
“But I will be helping the riders and pushing them on as much as possible.
“We were at the wrong end of the table when we met Peterborough at home on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon and set out an agenda to notch six points from three successive home meetings.
“Having beaten the Panthers and then Wolves last Thursday we have two more points to collect as we look to move up the table.
“Eastbourne will be a tough test with Scott Nicholls being a hard rider to beat, and I don't think the loss of Lee Richardson will affect the Eagles too much. Rider replacement could accrue just as many points as Lee, whose Foxhall scores are a bit up and down.”
While Louis knows the importance of two points tonight, he is also aware of the need to collect points in their three away meetings over the next seven days.
He added: “If we are to be considered serious play-off contenders we cannot come out of those three meetings with nothing.
“We have to get something and this trio of meetings are just as important as the trio at home that ends tonight.”
Ipswich will use the rider replacement facility to cover for Louis with plenty of movement in their team following the introduction of their first 2008 green sheet averages.
Tobi Kroner moves into a heat leader berth from reserve, while the in-form Piotr Swiderski drops down to replace him. Robert Miskowiak moves to a second string position at number two.
All Eastbourne's riders will be eligible to take rider replacement rides for Richardson with Newport's Nick Simmonds (Newport) coming in at the bottom end for American Brent Werner who has Somerset Premier League commitments.
Louis was seeing a specialist today after breaking his upper arm when Eastbourne last visited Foxhall on April 24.
“The injury is not so uncomfortable now but we know it will be long-term,” said Louis, who is continuing his TV work with Sky Sports and will be travelling to Gothenburg for next week's Swedish Grand Prix.
He has received card from Margaret Dugard, wife of Eastbourne official Bob, sending good wishes and signed by all the Eagles riders.
Ipswich: Rider replacement (7.10 average), R Miskowiak (5.63), T Kroner (6.38), S Johnston (5.60), J Hampel (6.27), P Swiderski (5.19), C Schramm (3.00).
Eastbourne: S Nicholls (9.28), L Bridger (5.23), rider replacement (9.14), C Woodwood (7.11), E Kennett (7.56), S Gustafsson (4.00), N Simmonds (3.00).