How did the Ipswich Witches perform in 2015?
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Mike Bacon runs the rule over the Ipswich Witches riders following a tough 2015 speedway season.
Danny King - starting average: 8.84 - finishing average: 9.39
A true No.1 there were some who doubted he would be up to the task of banging in double figure scores home and away. But King proved them all wrong, upping his average and entertaining the fans. Will surely be back in 2016.
Nico Covatti - starting average: 4.19 - finishing average: 7.55
What a signing, what an upping of an average. Covatti was everything – and more – Chris Louis wanted from the Argentinian, who started off at reserve and ended up as a heat leader. It’s shocking as a team, the Witches couldn’t make more of his input. But fans will hope he is back in 2016.
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Rohan Tungate - starting average: 8.36 - finishing average: 7.29
A poor year for Tungate who had done so well in the previous three. A ban later in the season after his ‘altercation’ with Josh Auty didn’t help. Had some outstanding meetings, but far too many poor ones by his standard. A move from Foxhall may do him good in 2016.
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Gino Manzares - starting average: 6.02 - finishing average: 5.41
If races were won on enthusiasm then Manzares would be averaging nine points a meeting. An early injury didn’t help and worry over visa issues seem to get in his way. Has the talent, just needs to channel it. Needed a seven-point average to get a visa in 2016, so unlikely to be back.
Cameron Heeps - starting average: 5.38 - finishing average: 6.15
It’s gradual rather than spectacular progress from young Aussie Heeps, who again upped his average in 2015. Did his job but you feel there is so much more in the tank. Hugely talented racer but needs to start believing it. Louis has faith in him but is time running out?
Stefan Nielsen - starting average: 4.23 - finishing average: 4.68
A late call-up to the Witches team after Joe Jacobs turned down the offer, Nielsen did superbly well to qualify for the World Under-21 series. A fine gater, he still has much to work on, but more than did his job for the Witches with some crucial heat victories. Could well be back.
Ashley Morris - starting average: 4.31 - finishing average: 4.04
Came in to replace Ritchie Hawkins and had some good meetings, none more so than at Rye House at the end of the season when two vital heat wins secured victory. Clearly loved his time at the club, but will he be back? the fans certainly like him . . . . again 50/50.
Ritchie Hawkins - starting average: 5.27 - finishing average: 3.35
The popular skipper had a nightmare first meeting of the season, crashing out before he had got to turn one. He never recovered and confidence dipped. It was a shame for a rider who brings so much to a team. Not likely to figure in 2016... then again on that average?