Rickardsson set for Witches return

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches are believed to be negotiating to bring world champion Tony Rickardsson back to Foxhall Stadium.The popular Swede, who is a Witches asset and was a member of their 1998 treble-winning side, will be hanging up his leathers after the 2006 season.

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches are believed to be negotiating to bring world champion Tony Rickardsson back to Foxhall Stadium.

The popular Swede, who is a Witches asset and was a member of their 1998 treble-winning side, will be hanging up his leathers after the 2006 season.

He only wants to ride in the Sky Bet Elite League until the end of April when he will then concentrate on winning a record-breaking seventh world crown through the Grand Prix series and the Polish and Swedish Leagues.

And reports suggest that fellow Swede Mikael Max is the rider Ipswich are lining up to be their number one for the remainder of the season.


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Max missed most of this year through injury, and is not expected to be fit for a track return at the start of the campaign.

With his brother Peter Karlsson going back to Wolves from Peterborough and Billy Hamill linked with a move to the midlands circuit, Max is unlikely to be required by his parent club.

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A genuine number one, Max would be an ideal replacement for Scott Nicholls and Hans Andersen, who have led the Witches for the last two seasons.

Rickardsson, 35, rode for Arena-Essex at the start of 2005 as cover for the injured Mark Loram, and he was with Poole for two months in 2004. In 2003 he won the league and cup with the Pirates when he rode his last full season in England.

It would be a huge boost for Witches fans concerned at the lack of team news coming out of Foxhall Stadium, and it is believed that after first appearing reticent to a return to Ipswich, Rickardsson is now giving the matter serious thought.

In an ideal world the Witches would use the same number

one throughout 2006, but in

the circumstances of losing both

Nicholls and Andersen in the last 12 months they appear to have come up with a good compromise.

With Rickardsson bound to be in the spotlight in his final year he would be a high profile signing, while filling in for Max as the latter gets fit.

And there is further good news for Ipswich supporters as 2000 world champion Loram is also understood to be high on the Witches wanted list.

And he could be fitted in with Rickardsson or Max and skipper Chris Louis at the top end.

The Stowmarket-based rider is expected to move from Arena-Essex in 2006 - a season where a number of clubs look likely to be a mixture of international stars and three to five point journeymen.

If Coventry asset Hamill, 35, moves to Monmore Green, then Wolves asset Sebastian Ulamek - a member of Coventry's title-winning septet - could start next season on loan at Swindon. Pole Ulamek has been mentioned as a possible Witches target.

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