Witches drama! Scott Nicholls guests for Sheffield in play-off final.. His thoughts and those of Ipswich promoter Chris Louis here
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Former Ipswich Witches star Scott Nicholls will be the guest replacement for Sheffield Tigers in the Championship play-off final, second leg, at Foxhall Heath tomorrow night, 7.30pm.
The 39-year-old Rye House star and seven-time British champion has been called up by the Tigers with their No.1 Josh Grajczonek out injured.
It’s a heady cocktail for Witches fans to get their heads round and hasn’t gone down well with some who see Nicholls as ‘one of their own’ after the Ipswich-born riders’ many years racing for the Suffolk side.
However, Nicholls’ season with Rye House is over. He’s a professional speedway rider. And while Ipswich fans have always welcomed him back at Foxhall – it’s preferably not as a guest for the opposition in a play-off final!
But Nicholls has no problem with taking the gig.
“It’s my job, simple as that,” Nicholls said.
“I was gutted Rye House didn’t make the play-offs and I thought my season was over. So it was nice to get the booking.
“But I imagine Sheffield would rather Josh Grajczonek was in their side. He’s been their No.1 all season and they would rather him there. Should they win, they would rather celebrate with him.
“But it is what it is.”
When put to him that some Witches fans will feel unhappy with his presence in the Tigers team in such an important meeting, Nicholls said: “Look, it’s just circumstances, nothing more.
“I actually would have liked to have been part of the Witches set up this year, but it didn’t work out.
“I always gave everything when I rode for Ipswich and it would be good for them to win the title of course, a part of me will always be with Ipswich.
“But my job is to ride speedway and my job tomorrow is to help Sheffield reach their goal. As I said, it’s my job.”
Witches promoter Chris Louis made his views on the subject clear.
“I don’t think Scott will win many popularity competition stakes right now and I hope he doesn’t win many races tomorrow night either,” he said.
“But no, of course he should take the booking. I have no problem with that, it’s just added another twist to what is already a mouthwatering clash.
“We just need three extra points from somewhere to add to the 14 we have beaten Sheffield with at our place in our last two meetings.
“I’ve seen enough in this team to feel we can do it.
“At Sheffield on Thursday night we made mistakes in the pits and mistakes on the track. So we want to put that right.”
Guy Nicholls, who sponsors the club through his company Tru7.com, has added extra backing to the Witches team, offering them a bonus should they win the Championship.
“The team can do this, I have no doubt,” he said.
“They have had a good season and done the town of Ipswich proud. They don’t need any incentive to win, I know that. This is a bonus.”