Ritchings praises speedway bosses for giving youth a chance

Darryl Ritchings, pictured in Swindon Robins' colours, watches from the pits.

Darryl Ritchings, pictured in Swindon Robins' colours, watches from the pits. - Credit: Archant

New Ipswich Witches signing Darryl Ritchings has praised speedway bosses for giving young British riders a major boost, by making a pathway for them to step up into the Premier League.

Speedway rider Darryl Ritchings - picture by Les Aubrey - April 2014

Speedway rider Darryl Ritchings - picture by Les Aubrey - April 2014 - Credit: Archant

The 21-year-old, from Purton near Swindon, has profited from a new rule ensuring every second-tier side has a rider eligible for the National League lining up at reserve, giving him his first taste of full-time Premier League speedway.

It’s a jump Ritchings has been looking to make for some time, having struggled to even secure guest bookings in the Premier League despite his solid third-tier form, but he is now determined to make the most of his chance.

“The new rule they have brought in, with a young British rider at reserve in the Premier League, is the best thing they have done in a long time I think,” he said.

“Ipswich were the first club to come to me, I’ve had offers since I agreed to join them, but the set-up at Ipswich is great and I can’t wait to get started there.

“In 2015 I did just the National League and I’ll be riding in that again next year with Birmingham.

“Last season, although I got the odd guest booking here and there, I didn’t have that many meetings.

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“Hopefully now I will be riding all the time and it will really help bring my career on.

“It’s going to be a lot harder and a step up from the National League for sure, but I had a strong year last year with Coventry and I will be looking to build on that.

“I think I can mix it up a bit and compete and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Ritchings has never ridden the Foxhall track before so is looking to get a few laps in over the winter before the new season rolls around in March.

“I’ve never ridden there before but I am really looking forward to having a go on it,” he said.

“I’ve been there once to help my brother Declan while he was a mechanic but I’ve never ridden there so it would be good to do some laps.”