Witches sign Iversen and Sarjeant to replace duo
PUBLISHED: 11:30 27 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:30 27 August 2019
The Ipswich Witches have signed Niels-Kristian Iversen and James Sarjeant to replace Edward Kennett and Krystian Pieszczek, writes Henry Chard.
The management have decided to move for the pair ahead of cut-off date for team changes today and the duo will make their first appearances at Foxhall against Poole on Thursday.
In Iversen, the club has signed one of the world's top riders, who is competing in the 2019 Grand Prix series. The Dane is currently 11th in the world and has secured his spot in the 2020 Grand Prix after finishing runner-up in last Saturday's GP Challenge in Gorican.
The 37-year-old has a host of honours to his name, winning five Grand Prix, four world cup gold medals and seven Danish titles so far in his career.
He brings a wealth of British experience with him, having spent several seasons with King's Lynn and team manager Ritchie Hawkins says bringing Iversen in was an opportunity he had to take.
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"We spoke to Niels and we knew he had finished in Poland and he would be keen to keep riding," said Hawkins. "We checked his availability, he was keen to come, and it was a great opportunity to bring in a world class rider at this stage of the season.
"The last month we have not been firing and things have been tough. To bring in a rider of his ability and of his experience in England as well will hopefully give everyone in the team a lift. It will give us a more solid balance throughout the side once the averages change next month going into the play-offs, should we make them."
Iversen replaces Kennett who joined the club mid-season for David Bellego.
Sarjeant, 25, also joins the Suffolk club and has experience of Foxhall having ridden for the Witches in 2016 and a period in 2017. The 25-year-old rides for Edinburgh in the Championship and comes to Foxhall to replace Pieszczek at reserve with Hawkins saying there is no pressure on him.
"We have brought Sarj in, he had a great year with us in the Championship and since he left us, his career has not gone the way I expected it to, and he hasn't reached the heights that I believe he can," said Hawkins.
"I know his capabilities and there is no pressure on him."
The Witches take on league leaders Poole in the Premiership at Foxhall on Thursday, with Iversen and Sarjeant in action for their new club.