Reserves hold Witches key

MIKE Smillie says it is the best squad Ipswich Evening Star Witches have assembled since their magnificent treble year of 1998.But for the side to live up to the expectations of its team manager, three riders will have to cut the mustard.

MIKE Smillie says it is the best squad Ipswich Evening Star Witches have assembled since their magnificent

treble year of 1998.

But for the side to live up to the expectations of its team manager, three riders will have to cut the mustard.

RESERVES Daniel King, Jan Jaros and Carl Wilkinson hold the key to success for Ipswich Witches in 2006.

Mark Loram, Chris Louis, Piotr Protasiewicz, Robert Miskowiak and Kim Jansson are a well-balanced unit in the main body of the side who can all score.

But this will not bring consistent rewards if the bottom two riders do not function consistently.

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The first meeting is a Suffolk Cup fixture against Mildenhall at Foxhall Stadium next Thursday. The expected Ipswich line-up for that match will be: Loram, Jansson, Protasiewicz, Miskowiak, Louis, Jaros, King.

Daniel King has the most experience of the Ipswich bottom three as this is his third campaign in the top flight. And he has no doubt that he can score freely.

The 19-year-old said at yesterday's washed-out Press Day: “Last season did not go to plan for me.

“I suffered a knee injury and did not make the progress I would have liked.

“This year will be different and I plan to up my average. I am aware of the importance of my role in the team, but don't feel any extra pressure.

“We have an awesome top three combination, and with their help I am confident everything will go well.

“I am like a kid with a new toy, and can't wait to get started.”

King admits that last season took a toll on his fitness as he had a full schedule with Ipswich, Rye House and also on the under-21 individual scene reaching the British and world finals.

“I needed to relax at the end of the season, and this is what I did,” explained King. “Riding in both leagues took it out of me as there were a lot of meetings.”

King enjoyed a holiday in the Canaries with girlfriend Clara, and also went snowboarding in France.

“I have done a little bit of building work this winter, but since Christmas I have been concentrating on getting my machinery ready.

“As well as scoring highly for Ipswich, I want to go one better and win the British Under-21 title, and do well in the world Under-21's as well.

“Like every speedway rider I have the senior world championship as my goal, and want to stay in the Elite League for many seasons yet.”

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