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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Witches set to seal Lanham deal

PUBLISHED: 12:14 28 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:56 03 March 2010

The changes made at the British Speedway promoters Assocation Annual Conference last week will improve the chances of Ipswich Witches having local rider Leigh Lanham in their side next season.

The changes made at the British Speedway promoters Assocation Annual Conference last week will improve the chances of Ipswich Witches having local rider Leigh Lanham in their side next season.

Lanham returns from holiday today and Ipswich promoter John Louis will be speaking to him as soon as possible.

The rider who has been on loan to Premier League Arena Essex for the last four seasons, is top of the list of riders Ipswich want to sign to complete their team.

Magda Louis, and Ipswich director, said today: "We hope that we can persuade Leigh to sign for us on a full time basis for 2002. He is our asset and our fans have signalled that they would like him back at Foxhall Stadium.

"But if not then hopefully Leigh will become one of our two floaters who will be included in a reserve position."

The annual conference decided that each Elite League club could sign two Premier League riders who between them will fill one of the reserve berths in every league match.

This move has been adopted in an attempt to get riders from the lower leagues involved with the Elite League and possibly lead to them moving up permanently in the future.

"John and myself feel it would be much better to have six man teams, but the rest of the league do not agree," added Mrs Louis.

"There is a shortage of low average riders and the move to dip into the Premier will help alleviate that problem."

Ipswich have already signed their top four men for next season and are currently having talks to complete their side.

"I have a list of Polish riders and of course we are talking to Leigh," continued Mrs Louis. "Foxhall is a tricky track unlike the circuit at Poole where I believe they have already set up deals to have two fresh Poles in their side next season."

Although it is still vague it appears that clubs in the top flight who finished with three 2002 Grand Prix riders in their side can keep two of them next year.

Mrs Louis says that this has come about because of pressure from a couple of clubs.

She said: "Coventry will be able to keep either Billy Hamill or Greg Hancock as well as Andreas Jonsson while Oxford can keep Leigh Adams at No 1 and still have Lukas Dryml in their team.

"It is a great shame that Ipswich did not receive the same support when he had to discard Tony Rickardsson and Scott Nichols after we won the treble in 1998."

The plans to reduce GP riders to one per club was done so that league fixtures could carryon and not be restricted in weeks when the GP meetings took place.

It looks now as thought this problem will not be solved although Ipswich have announced that they will ride their home matches on Thursdays for the whole year.

Mrs Louis confirmed: "Our one GP rider Scott Nichols is happy to fly out to the GPs on Fridays and we will be using Thursday nights even when there is a Grand Prix on the Saturday."

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