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Ipswich Witches v Swindon Robins Premiership final: Witches ace Allen: 'We have to do what we did to Poole'

Jake Allen after the crashed that dented his season for a while. But he's back now and flying for the Witches.    Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.com

Jake Allen after the crashed that dented his season for a while. But he's back now and flying for the Witches. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Witches rider Jake Allen has spoken of his enjoyment of riding for Ipswich in his first season at the club as they prepare for the Premiership Play-Off final against Swindon this evening at Foxhall Stadium, 7.30pm, writes Henry Chard.

Cameron Heeps & Jake Allen celebrate in heat 8 of the Ipswich Witches v Poole Pirates play-off semi final. Picture: Steve GardinerCameron Heeps & Jake Allen celebrate in heat 8 of the Ipswich Witches v Poole Pirates play-off semi final. Picture: Steve Gardiner

Allen played a key role in Ipswich's semi-final win over Poole and said that their poor form towards the end of the regular season played in their favour ahead of the play-offs.

"It has been really good," said Allen.

"We started the year really good and we were top of the table for a while. Maybe we got a bit complacent and tailed off at the end, but we regrouped and had a chat with the management. Once we knew we were in the play-offs we knew that it was all to play for again. It might have been good that we did drop off in form ahead of the play-offs because maybe teams thought we were weaker than we were. That played in our favour against Poole, they thought they had it won but we made sure they didn't."

The Australian has been hugely impressive in his first year in Suffolk, starting the season in terrific form at reserve before moving into the main body of the team. A shoulder injury slowed his progress mid-season, but he is now back to the best and scoring highly.

"I have had quite a good year, I set out some goals for myself at the start of the year. One of them was to become a number one in the Championship, I have done that. The other was to move into the main body of the team at Ipswich and I have done that as well.

"The injury slowed me up mid-season which I think everyone saw with my scores, they were not as good as they were at the start of the year. I am learning how to manage it better and the shoulder is getting stronger again. I think it shows on track, I am more confident and doing what I want on the bike whereas a month or two ago I was hesitant and worried about doing more damage. I scored double figures in both legs of the play-off semi-final so hopefully I can replicate that in the final."

The 24-year-old has been impressed with the professional set up at Ipswich and said he wants to remain with the club in 2020.

"Compared to every other club I have dealt with during my time In England for a couple of years they are very professional. They want you to do well as much as you want to do well. There has never been a problem if I have asked for advice or help. It was a good for me to go to a new club and I am glad it was Ipswich. I have really enjoyed my time here and hopefully if all goes to plan, I will be here next year and for years after that."

Bristane-born Allen has also been full of praise for the support at Foxhall and said the positivity has been a refreshing change.

"It has been really good, I have enjoyed my time with the club and the fans have been unreal," he said.

"They always say hello when you are walking from the changing rooms and they are always friendly. Even when are struggling they don't slag you off. They might send you a message on Facebook saying: 'chin up, we know what you can do', and they try to keep things positive which is another big thing. Clubs I have been at in the past, if you have a couple of bad meetings, they want you sacked, so it is nice to have the backing of the fans, management and your teammates."

The 2017 Queensland state champion is predicting an exciting encounter in the play-off final against the Robins tonight and on Thursday at Blundsdon.

"At the end of the day it is 0-0 at the start of the meeting and we have got to do what we did to Poole when we are at home and run them close away. It will be a really good meeting against Swindon."

The 'Tru Plant' Witches take on the Swindon Robins in the Premiership Play-Off final with the first leg at Foxhall Stadium tonight.

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