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British champion Schlein has this message for Ipswich Witches fans....

Rory Schlein and Witches skipper Danny King share a joke.    Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.com

Rory Schlein and Witches skipper Danny King share a joke. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

© Copyright Stephen Waller

British champion, Rory Schlein, has admitted that one of his favourite-ever years in the sport was while he was riding at Foxhall in 2017.

The 36-year-old Aussie, who won the British final at Belle Vue last month, joined the Witches in 2017 and enjoyed two successful years with the Suffolk outfit.

Indeed, such was his enjoyment, that he picked out the 2017 season with the Witches as one of his happiest during his current 19-year involvement in speedway in the UK.

Speaking on the podcast, ‘Adventures of the Roo Boy’, Schlein said: “I was having a conservation with someone about the most enjoyable team I ever rode in and I mentioned Ipswich 2017.

“I know we didn’t win anything. We were in all the finals, but I hadn’t had that much fun in speedway until that year.

“All the other years were a bit of a grind, with injuries and so on.

“I’d just had my back surgery and my rods removed.

Witches promotor Chris Louis congratulates Rory Schlein after an important race win. Happy times for Rory with the Witches    PICTURE: STEVE WALLER    WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMWitches promotor Chris Louis congratulates Rory Schlein after an important race win. Happy times for Rory with the Witches PICTURE: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

“Then Chris Louis phoned my up and asked if I was keen to ride. I said, you bet I’m keen. I was coming down from the Elite League to ride for Ipswich in the Premiership and because of my previous injuries, no-one in the Elite League would touch me with a barge pole.

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“People were questioning me, you know, is he done?

British champion 2020: Rory Schlein. Photo: TAYLOR LANNINGBritish champion 2020: Rory Schlein. Photo: TAYLOR LANNING

“So, I went to Ipswich. I was fit and ready and we hit the ground running from the first meeting.”

The Witches came so close to winning silverware that year, with Schlein front and centre of their challenge. He admits the chemistry in the side was superb.

“One of my most memorable nights was at Edinburgh in the play-off semis,” he said.

“We won in the last race, but the fans never really saw what was going on in the pits that night. How much we all wanted it as a team.

“It was a shame to lose to Sheffield in the final and we so wanted to beat Peterborough in the cup final, but we came up short, injuries didn’t help.

“It was gut-wrenching not to win anything. I really felt for Chris, he put together such a good side and crowds were up.”

Schlein returned for another season in 2018, but injuries again played a part in the Witches being unable to gain any silverware.

“We were always pushing uphill that year, but I still enjoyed it. I enjoyed all my time at Ipswich.”


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