Witches reach ‘record’ season ticket sales

PREMIER League speedway newcomers Ipswich Witches have announced their best season tickets sales for 20 years.

And long-serving promoter John Louis says that now supporters are backing them again the onus is on the club to produce on the track.

British speedway is in a mess with the futures of key clubs Coventry and Peterborough still up in the air after internal promoter squabbling that would be out of place in a kindergarten.

No fixtures have subsequently been published with the campaign just over a month away, and with the proposed lifeblood of the sport in this country – the National League – down to just nine clubs.

Ipswich are bucking the trend and in buoyant mood with promotion and fans alike counting down the days to the new season on March 17.

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Louis said: “It was inevitable towards the end of last season that we would have to make a move – that we would have to do something rather drastic.

“Our supporters voted with their feet by staying away from Foxhall Stadium.

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“We sat down and decided what to do, and it is unbelievable how well it has been accepted by the Ipswich public.

“We have our best season ticket sales figures for 20 years, and our supporters have done their bit.

“Now it is up to us to produce on the track.”

Louis revealed that it was getting harder to compete in the Elite League with every passing year.

“I’m actually looking forward to this season,” he added.

“We have put together a nice young team and have a chance to start building the Witches up again.

Louis, who celebrates 22 years as Ipswich promoter this year, is carrying on as sole promoter and doing the same tasks as last year as his son Chris waits in the wings to take over the reins.

“Chris will continue to be the front man and to work with team manager Pete Simmons, and one day the time might be right for him to take over as promoter,” explained Louis.

“He remains director of speedway, and of course there would be a great deal of pride to hand over one day to him.

“There is no one else I would pass the club over to.

“Our racing careers were uncannily similar with moto-cross and then speedway and both winning the British Final and finishing third in the individual world championship.

“But for his year we carry on the same as we were last year – and the one before that.”

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