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‘The back injury should have probably finished me’, admits Ipswich Witches’ Rory Schlein

PUBLISHED: 14:03 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 16:37 20 March 2017

Rory Schlein

Rory Schlein

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Some riders may have retired, but new signing Rory Schlein has battled back from the brink to boost the Ipswich Witches’ promotion push.

The 32-year-old Australian was almost paralysed when he broke his back in two places, while riding in Poland in 2015, but made a miraculous return last year, only to then damage his shoulder whilst riding for the King’s Lynn Stars in the Elite League.

“The last two years have probably been the worst for me, from an injury point-of-view,” said Darwin-born Schlein, who will be riding at Foxhall on Saturday as the Witches start their Championship campaign against Sheffield (tapes up 7.45pm and kids go free).

“The back injury should have probably finished me, but I’m still hungry. Then to do the shoulder in that manner was really gut-wrenching.

“I had an operation in December to remove all the metalwork in my back, and everything is good, the surgeon is happy with it.

“I was back in the gym training three weeks after the op, I am feeling good and we are already making changes to the bike to make it more aggressive.”

“He added: “I think injuries do affect you mentally, and any rider that says otherwise is lying, but I have done it (been injured) that many times, I have probably done it in my sleep.

“Fingers crossed, I can get through the season injury-free and if that’s the case, Chris knows what he is going to get out of me.”

Schlein is part of a new-look team that is being tipped for special things this season in a new, revamped format, which will see the champions of the SGB Championship play-off against the bottom side in the Premiership for a place in the top-flight next season.

“We have got to be looking to finish towards the top of the table and Chris (Louis) and Ritchie (Hawkins) want to hit the ground running. On paper it looks a strong side. It’s down to the riders to take responsibility,” Schlein added.

“I’m not setting any targets for myself because of the last two years. If you don’t get through (the season) it doesn’t matter.

“I just want to be clean and consistent and bang in the double-figure scores and if I can get through to the end of the season, that will be a win for me.”

With eight games to go, Ipswich Town are still not safe from relegation to League One, following a tough season in the Championship, and lost 3-1 at Cardiff City at the weekend.

Mick McCarthy says his managerial record is the reason for his longevity at Portman Road, not owner Marcus Evans’ perceived patience with his managers.

Ipswich Town will not be backtracking on their decision to raise the price of season tickets, despite a huge outcry from supporters.

Loan duo Dominic Samuel and Jonny Williams made timely injury comebacks last night as a strong Ipswich Town Under-23 side drew 1-1 with Crewe at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town have suffered a double injury blow with the news that forward duo David McGoldrick and Tom Lawrence have had to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland and Wales squads respectively.

Ipswich Town fan and football reporter WILL RIDGARD gives his view on the controversy surrounding the increase in season ticket prices at Portman Road...

It’s the start of a fortnight for fans to fester on Ipswich Town’s current state of affairs – and we want to hear from you.

Ipswich Town have finally recorded a result which is not a draw.

What a time to be an Ipswich fan.

I have supported Ipswich Town since April 27, 1968, when I made my first visit to Portman Road to watch the Blues draw 2-2 with QPR. From that moment, I was well and truly hooked.

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