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Manzares still has a Witches future

PUBLISHED: 12:41 12 December 2017

Gino Manzares is still very much in Ipswich Witches' plans despite spending the 2018 season at Scunthorpe. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Gino Manzares is still very much in Ipswich Witches' plans despite spending the 2018 season at Scunthorpe. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Steve Waller

Ipswich Witches boss Chris Louis will be keeping a close eye on American star Gino Manzares during the 2018 season with a view to a future return to Foxhall.

Ipswich Witches boss Chris Louis will be keeping a close eye on American star Gino Manzares during the 2018 season with a view to a future return to Foxhall.

Manzares will spend the season at Championship rivals Scunthorpe as he returns to British speedway following two years away, with Louis revealing the popular Californian was top of his list had he not been able to assemble his chosen septet.

The 24-year-old, who describes Ipswich as his second home, suffered a drop in average which made it impossible to obtain a new working visa following the 2015 season, but Louis is delighted to see him return to British racing.

“As a club asset Gino (Manzares) is always part of our plans,” Louis insisted.

“We knew how keen he was and if anything had gone wrong with bringing the team back that we wanted to bring back, he would have been our first phone call. We have been in communication and knew exactly how keen he was, as would anyone who is on social media for the last six months.

“In the end, we got what we wanted and we have worked to make sure he got the opportunity here and he has that now with Scunthorpe. We are pleased he is back and will be racing against strong opposition every week and I hope he has a great season as he is a big part of our club. It is a temporary thing as far as we are concerned and hopefully it works out for him.

“It’s a case of getting back into a routine of consistent speedway on a league basis which he has missed the last two years and we wish him all the best. We will be in constant contact and keeping an eye on him with a view to welcoming him back in the future.”

Manzares put himself in the shop window with an impressive seven points in Event One of last summer’s World Cup at King’s Lynn, which Louis believes was vital in him earning a British league place.

“He has been doing all he can in the USA which is limited these days,” Louis said.

“His World Cup experience this year was vital to him keeping his hand in on different tracks against good opposition to put himself in the shop window and get a place back here.

“Any young American will see those World Cup opportunities and grab them with both hands, because this is what happens. Gino played it perfectly and showed he can compete with the best of what Europe has to offer.”

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