Danny King column: OK, here we go then! It’s glory or bust and the Witches want glory
So, here we, the final meeting of the 2017 season upon us and my final column of the year as well.
What a year it has been.
And tonight we finish the season with a cup final against Peterborough – two big finals in the space of a month. It’s just what we would have dreamed about at the start of the campaign.
Not that we would have wanted to lose the first one, the Championship play-off final against Sheffield, of course.
That was a huge disappointment, but now we have another chance to grab ourselves some silverware and I’m hoping the fans turn out in their numbers tonight to help cheer us on to glory.
It won’t be easy, make no bones about that.
Peterborough are a very good side and have booked Ben Barker as a guest for Jack Holder.
We trail by four points and those points aren’t just going to come to us. We are going to have to work for them.
On Sunday at Peterborough we were in real danger of going down to a heavy defeat.
When we lost Rory Schlein and were 14 points down, we were in a spot of bother to say the least.
But the boys were superb, as they have been all season.
In fact, Sunday just about summed up our season so far. A constant battle against injury, a constant fight. We rarely seemed to have a full team this year and the rider replacement facility has been used so many times.
Losing Rory was a huge blow on Sunday, but we stuck at it and we got it back to just four points at the end.
It was a great effort, but as I have said, we must remember, it is only half-time... And we are still behind.
Our fans at Peterborough on Sunday were awesome.
I reckon there were as many Ipswich fans there as Peterborough ones, or it certainly felt that way.
When we started to hit back in the final few heats and got a couple of 5-1s, the fans were hanging over the fence, giving us high-fives as we went past them at the end of the race. It was fantastic to see.
Tonight, we need that type of support again.
Scott Nicholls if of course riding for us tonight and I know many people think it strange he can ride for Peterborough in one leg and us in the other.
But that’s the sport, not Scott’s fault.
We all get on well with Scottie and he’s a top rider. If he is available as a guest and the rules state that’s fine, then we must get him, it’s a no-brainer.
Riding for Ipswich this season has simply been great.
I’ve enjoyed being the No.1 and captain and although I know you hear many riders say it, I genuinely mean it... This has been the best year of riding in a team I can ever remember.
As a group, we have all gelled, all got on well and that’s without doubt the main reason we have been so successful this season.
Our camp has been relaxed, but that is alot down to team manager Ritchie Hawkins, while there have been no niggles.
Even when we had a bit of a crisis at the end of July when team changes were set to be made and then changed, the two riders involved Justin Sedgmen and Connor Mountain still offered to carry on.
While ‘Sedge’ eventually had to give way because of a shoulder injury, Connor continued to battle.
He has done himself proud this season, rising to the occasion more than one occasion and helping the team to where we are now.
There have been many highlights of 2017 but I must admit I hope the biggest highlight is still to come.
As I said earlier, as a team we seem to have been fire-fighting most of the campaign.
Kyle Newman crashed out in the first few weeks before we had even got going and then we lost Nico Covatti and Danyon Hume.
It’s been very difficult, but everyone has stuck together, especially the fans who have been brilliant.
So, here we go then.
One big final push to win some silverware.
We will all be giving it 100% don’t you worry about that. Hope to see you at Foxhall tonight and thanks for reading the column throughout the year.
I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I’ve enjoyed penning it.
One more time then... UP THE WITCHES!
AS TOLD TO MIKE BACON