Louis tells Witches fans not to panic
IPSWICH Evening Star Witches rider/manager Chris Louis today had an answer to supporters who are worried about the strength of the 2006 speedway team - don't panic.
IPSWICH Evening Star Witches rider/manager Chris Louis today had an answer to supporters who are worried about the strength of the 2006 speedway team - don't panic, writes Elvin King.
While other Sky Bet Elite League clubs are signing riders on a regular basis, the Foxhall Stadium-based Witches have yet to confirm a single starter.
The majority of top names have either been buttoned up or earmarked for next season, while Ipswich have only the confirmation that captain Louis is 100 per cent certain to sign.
Supporters are concerned that Ipswich will be unable to attract an international-class rider to replace Hans Andersen, while Piotr Protasiewicz appears unlikely to return.
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Stowmarket-based Mark Loram and Sebastian Ulamek, who helped Coventry win the league this year, are the two riders many Witches fans are pinning their hopes on.
But Louis said: “It would be a waste of time talking about this rider or that at this stage of our negotiations.
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“But what I will say to any fan who is showing concern over our ability to build a strong side is that we are not panicking,” said Louis.
Ipswich are still chasing teenage Australian whiz-kid Chris Holder, but Louis confirmed that his club is involved in a race with a number of others.
He said: “The race is still going on to sign Chris, and we are still in the hunt.”
If the Witches get their man he will become one of their assets with the likelihood that he will be loaned out to a Premier League club in 2006.
George Stancl, who was an Ipswich squad member last season and did well when brought into the side, has completed a loan move to Premier League Newcastle from parent club Glasgow.
Whether he doubles up in the Elite League again remains to be seen. Another potential Ipswich doubling-up rider - young Australian Troy Batchelor - has re-signed to ride in the Premier League with King's Lynn, along with fellow countryman Trevor Harding.
* IPSWICH Witches season tickets are now available for next season. They are priced at £285 for adults and £225 for concessions, up to and including January 31. After this both categories go up by £15.
They can be purchased by post, sending a cheque made payable to Ipswich Speedway Promotions to 7 Penshurst Road, Ipswich, IP3 8QZ, enclosing a passport-style photograph for each individual application and a medium-sized self-addressed envelope. Alternatively they can be bought at Foxhall Stadium on Saturday, December 10 from 10am to 1pm.