Witches are tipped to be dark horses

NEW Lakeside Hammers boss Jon Cook thinks Ipswich could be the Dark Horses of the Elite League this season.Cook, who has moved to Essex from his former club Eastbourne, knows a thing or two about speedway and thinks the Witches, and in particular Marcin Rempala, could surprise many.

By Elvin King

NEW Lakeside Hammers boss Jon Cook thinks Ipswich could be the Dark Horses of the Elite League this season.

Cook, who has moved to Essex from his former club Eastbourne, knows a thing or two about speedway and thinks the Witches, and in particular Marcin Rempala, could surprise many.

Cook brings his Lakeside club to Foxhall tonight for the season's opener - a clash that will be reciprocated back at Lakeside tomorrow night.

“I know a bit about Marcin Rempala and I think he is a quality rider,” Cook said.

“I've seen him ride and I think he will end up as the Witches top Pole come the end of the season. He could make quite an impact.”

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Cook and Ipswich rarely see eye to eye and the former Eagles promoter has always admitted he hates coming to Foxhall. Although he is now with Lakeside he doesn't see that improving.

“I never look forward to going to Ipswich,” Cook said.

“It's a tough place to ever get a result and they try to make life as uncomfortable as they can for you.

“But they always end up doing a job and this season is likely to be no different.”

Lakeside have already suffered an illness blow on the eve of the season, with captain Paul Hurry suffering from tonsillitis. He will miss tonight and tomorrow night's encounters, with No.8 Chris Neath taking his place.

Formerly Arena Essex, Lakeside is the new name for the Hammers for 2007, as the new promotion hope to attract more people to the Lakeside area of the county where they race at their Purfleet track.

They have made team changes too. In have come heat leaders Adam Shields and Krzyszstof Kasprzak, while young reserve Christian Hefenbrock could prove a trump signing.

“I am happy with the way we look,” said Cook.

“But we are not making any big statements, we have finished bottom the last two seasons. However we are confident we can avoid that this season.”

Witches fans will be looking forward to seeing their new side in competitive action for the first time and getting off on the right footing, with the right result for home fans would be just the ticket.

Tonight's teams

Ipswich Witches: 1 M Loram, 2 K Jansson, 3 C Louis, 4 M Rempala, 5 R Miskowiak, 6 Z Suchecki, 7 T Kroner

Lakeside Hammers: 1 J Kylmakorpi, 2 L Lanham, 3 K Kasprzak, 4 C Neath, 5 A Shields, 6 C Henfenbrock, 7 H Bager

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