Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

Witches team boss Hawkins backs German teenager Haertel to be a success at Foxhall

PUBLISHED: 17:03 20 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:36 20 December 2017

Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins and skipper Danny King. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins and skipper Danny King. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins believes German teenager Michael Haertel has all the tools required to be a success in his debut British speedway season.

The 19-year-old is the only new face in the 2018 Witches side, with six of the seven originally named in last season’s team returning to Foxhall, and arrives with an impressive CV which includes three German Under 21 titles, international appearances and the scalps of Chris Holder and Renat Gafurov during the 2014 Best Pairs Cup.

The Witches have been following Haertel for some time and, while Hawkins knows success is far from guaranteed, is confident he has the attributes necessary to hit the ground running.

“The first time I became aware of him was my first season in charge when we were struggling a little and were looking around for options,” Hawkins said,

“We saw his record and his results were good and we were impressed. Chris (Louis, director of speedway) has some German contacts and they speak of him highly.

“We’ve kept an eye on him since them and considered him for the team in the season just gone, but we waited for him to finish his schooling which is obviously very important.

“He rides long track as well as speedway so he is well prepared for different tracks, but you never know how young riders will react. That’s why so many want to come to England because it can pay a massive part in people’s development.

“He is very professional, very focused and knows what he wants to achieve.

“He had a ride at Foxhall near the end of last season and seemed to settle in well. He adapted well to the track and if he can get round Ipswich he is probably going to be able to get round everywhere.”

Hawkins believes Haertel is beginning his British career in the perfect environment, given how many experienced heads there are to offer advice from within the Witches camp.

“With young riders you need to give them a bit of time to learn but we’re prepared to do that,” he said.

“It’s a good club for him to come to because there are plenty of people here with a lot of experience. Danny (King) and Rory (Schlein) will be good in the pits and if riders use Chris (Louis) well they can gain a lot.”

Suffolk and Essex will see a mix of sunshine and showers today.

A hotly-tipped new film based around The Beatles, which is rumoured to star Ed Sheeran, will be shot in Suffolk, publicists have said.

A drug addict died after he was stabbed to “teach him a lesson” for trying to rob a dealer of drugs, it has been alleged.

A charity for victims of childhood sexual abuse in Suffolk and Norfolk has appointed former Ipswich Town and England footballer Kieron Dyer as its latest ambassador.

The identity of a man found dead in a Colchester car park yesterday has been confirmed by police.

More than 6,500 potholes in Suffolk have been repaired since the start of the year as the county council continues its all-out war to tackle the issue across the county.

Suffolk County Council leader Colin Noble is facing the fight of his political life after being challenged for the top job by fellow cabinet member Matthew Hicks.

An absent-minded thief was captured after leaving a vital clue to his identity at the scene of a crime in Ipswich.

The first hearing of a man charged in connection with a serious crash in Ipswich has been adjourned to take place on Wednesday.

A “loving and generous” 59-year-old woman from Ipswich died after taking an overdose of therapeutic medication, an inquest has heard.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24