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Louis turns down comeback offer

PUBLISHED: 17:24 08 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:42 03 March 2010

CHRIS Louis has turned down a chance to ride for Ipswich Evening Star Witches in this Saturday's British League Cup speedway meeting at Premier League Rye House.

CHRIS Louis has turned down a chance to ride for Ipswich Evening Star Witches in this Saturday's British League Cup speedway meeting at Premier League Rye House.

The 33-year-old was asked by Witches team manager Mike Smillie. But the long-term Witches skipper, who suffered a serious back injury last April, declined.

He is not yet ready for a return to the saddle.

Former Team Great Britain captain and world number three Louis is part of the official Ipswich ten-man League Cup squad.

He said: "I had a spin after the home match against Poole on March 27 and didn't feel any reaction. But I am not ready yet to return."

Jeremy Doncaster, who is unlikely to figure unless there is an emergency, and Danny Bird complete the squad along with the seven members of the team that beat Peterborough at Foxhall Stadium last Thursday.

"I didn't want Chris to think he is being overlooked," said Smillie. "We have a break until our next scheduled League game – at King's Lynn on May 14 – and I will ask Chris again then."

Whether 16-year-old Daniel King, who made such a big impression in the win over the Panthers, rides at Hoddesden on Saturday remains to be seen.

Ipswich has had an approach from Reading to ask if they can use King in their side to cover for the injured Stuart Williams.

If he becomes an official temporary member of the Racers Premier League one-to-seven he might not be available to Ipswich.

King is owned by former Peterborough co-promoters Phil Wing and Ian Jarvis and rides for the Panthers in the Conference.

Former Ipswich promoter and current Reading co-promoter Chris Shears said: "Daniel is a good young rider who I think will do a good job for Reading. It's a better option than calling in guests every week."

Pole Chris Slabon will definitely be at Rye House as the extra experience on small tracks will be of benefit when he rides in the Elite League at places like Eastbourne and Belle Vue.

Ipswich ride at home to Wolverhampton in the Elite League on Thursday with Dane Bjarne Pedersen standing in for the injured Jarek Hampel.

Ironically, Craig Boyce could have been brought in to replace Hampel temporarily if rolling averages had not introduced this year. Hampel's actual average last year was 7.74 and Boyce's was around 7.50.

Hampel broke his collar bone riding in Poland on Sunday and is currently receiving intensive treatment in Ipswich.


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