Witches new team boss Phil Hilton wants Witches to turn back the clock on the road

Phil Hilton

Phil Hilton - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Witches new team manager, Phil Hilton, wants the Witches of 2015 to roll back the years.

Hilton, 55, a retired police officer from Felixstowe, has taken over the responsibility of team manager from Brian Messenger.

A Witches fan of more than 40 years, there is one thing he hopes his young chargers can do – and that is be competitive – not just at home, but also away.

“Over the years the Witches have always been a good home side, but they have also always been competitive on the road,” he said.

“Ipswich were always good opponents wherever they went and I don’t want to see heavy defeats on the road next year. It’s not acceptable and the riders are just too good.”


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Indeed Hilton has nothing but praise for the team he is set to manage and thinks they can win the Premier League.

“The team Chris Louis is putting together is an exciting one and one that is capable of winning the league,” Hilton said.

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“They’ve been knocking on the door for a few seasons now, cup finals and play-offs.

“Next year is the time for them to grab the opportunity to really go for it.

“I will want all the team to go out and express themselves. I don’t want them worrying about the opposition.

“And I don’t want them thinking can they win? I want them always thinking how many are they going to win by.”

While many will see it as a surprise appointment, Hilton is not concerned, and having been used to leading and managing teams in the police force, he knows his job is to quietly and effectively manage a speedway team he is convinced is capable of being Premier League top dogs.

“The best team managers in speedway are not always ex-riders,” Hilton added.

“I can’t hold a light to what gearing the riders use or how to ride the track. But they are the riders, not me. It’s up to them on the track. I will get them prepared off it.”

And Hilton reserved praise for Witches 2015 No.1, Danny King.

“Danny is a lovely lad but more than that he is a superb rider. He’s as good as any rider in the Premier League,” added Hilton.

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