DANNY KING COLUMN: How can you get me and Kim Nilsson the wrong way round? He’s about eight foot and I’m.... well not!
PUBLISHED: 19:00 05 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:22 06 April 2017
© Copyright Stephen Waller
I’ve been riding on and off at Foxhall Heath for the Witches since I was 16, but I honestly don’t think I can remember such positive vibes around the place as there is right now.
Honestly, the crowd in our opening two meetings have been superb. Our opening night win over Sheffield was good but I think our win last week against Berwick was just as impressive. And remember we are still missing Kyle Newman.
But what an atmosphere, what a team, what a start. It’s just what we wanted and it couldn’t have gone any better.
The fans have such an important part to play and again last week they did their bit. OK, Berwick were not as strong as Sheffield had been the week before, but so what? We still went out and did a really professional job in a big 60-30 victory.
As I said, Kyle is still not with us, but James Sarjeant has come in and carried on where he left off last season.
I like James. He’s an honest lad who gives it his all from start to finish. I enjoy riding with him and I hope he rattles up the points to give Chris Louis and Ritchie Hawkins some serious team-making decisions to think about when Kyle comes back.
And what about our two young reserves?
Danyon Hume and Connor Mountain have both showed their worth already and have showed what they are capable of. Both of them are gating well and starting to ride more and more maturely. It’s great to see.
Not that my week has been perfect!
Far from it. I’ve endured a host of clutch problems which didn’t affect my performance for the Witches against Berwick at Foxhall, but did affect my next three meetings – two of which were with Leicester.
After our big win over the Bandits last Thursday, I headed down to Somerset for the Premiership Pairs, my first Leicester meeting, with Kim Nilsson my partner. It went OK for us but I started to get the first hint of clutch issues which I didn’t manage to look into as the meeting moved apace.
If that wasn’t bad enough, I was credited with four of our 11 points on some speedway websites the next day, when in fact I got seven and Kim got four. It would be an easy mistake to make except Kim is about eight foot and I’m, well, not!
So how someone got us the wrong way around, I can’t imagine.
The Witches defended our big lead against Berwick quite easily in the Borders on Saturday night.
The Bandits had put covers down on the track all day to save the meeting and they did the job, but there was still surface water on the track. It was not easy and not a night to take silly risks. Again my clutch issues came to the fore, this time I had a bit more time to look at what was happening, but I didn’t get to the bottom of it and I was gating poorly. But the boys, brilliantly led by Rory Schlein and Nico Covatti saw the job home easily enough.
One word about Rory.
What a great comeback from injury he has made. But I knew he would.
I remember saying in this column a couple of weeks ago, I wasn’t worried about Rory one little bit despite his injuries in recent years. He’s an experienced pro who has done it and got the T-shirt. If he says he is capable to coming to Ipswich and doing a fantastic job, then he knew he was.
I made my Premiership league debut for Leicester at Wolverhampton on Monday and it could have gone better, for me at least.
The Lions really did roar at Wolves, who of course are the champions.
It’s never an easy place to go but we lost by just one point in the end and yours truly (having spent all day Sunday trying to get to the bottom of any issues), suffered clutch problems, again! It’s a horrible feeling when you worry your bike is either going to shoot you through the tapes, or not take off at all. I had a couple of decent first two heats, but the old problems then returned. I felt bad and I came last in my final two races. But there were far more positives for the Lions’ fans to take from the meeting than negatives.
It’s The Masters this weekend, one of my favourite golf tournaments of the year.
Me and Ritchie Hawkins play a bit of golf as you know – yes I am the better player – and I think Dustin Johnson or Ricki Fowler will win at Augusta.
Although I’m riding on Friday and Saturday nights, I’ll still record it and watch it when I can.
I love it and don’t miss much of it at all.
Back to the speedway and no meeting tonight for the Witches. Meanwhile I’m on my bike with the Lions (Friday and Saturday) and Coventry (on Monday). Speak soon
As told to Mike Bacon