It’s Tuesday night…and you know what that means.
Speedway with crowds gets underway less than a week from now and I couldn’t be any more excited! The light at the end of the tunnel is green, the riders are waiting on the tapes flying up and are ready to roar into the first bend…
Buzzing like a knackered fridge? Check!
Acting like a frog in a sock? Check!
Happy as a pig in…you get the drift!
It’s time for the final installment of Mythman and Marty’s Season Preview so let’s take one last tour of the country and save the best til last…
The Media Prima Arena is our next destination where we have a look at another side who has had to change direction with their team building on more than one occasion, the Redcar Bears. You can’t help but feel sorry for the Bears as their promotion do great work and seem to have been met with nothing but bad luck at every turn. Erik Riss was the major casualty before he made a u-turn and decided to have a crack at British racing after all, but by which time Redcar were unable to re-accommodate him in the side. The latest stumbling block came in the form of Kasper Andersen being refused a work permit and as such he is out of the side too, which is a shame as he seemed to fit in well there. Despite the setbacks, a top two of Charles Wright and Michael Palm Toft is as decent as any other side out there, while Jordan Stewart should provide decent back up having improved year on year. Anders Rowe and Jordan Jenkins are two hungry young riders who should do a solid job at the lower end of the side and could well be capable of taking a few big scalps along the way. With the aforementioned absence of Kasper Andersen leaving a hole in the side the Bears moved quickly to secure the services of James Sarjeant, himself a victim of a necessary reshuffle at Edinburgh. Completing the side is Aussie Jake Allen who, in an ironic twist makes a U-turn in returning to British speedway, similar to the man he essentially replaces in the side.
Marty’s Key Man – Jake Allen
The last side to complete their 1-7 lineup and for me it’s the last signing that’s the key man, Jake Allen. He’s a rider that was starting to turn the tide and be a heat leader at CL level when racing last took place and generally does well at most tracks now. Spearheaded by Charles Wright and Michael Palm Toft, the Bears now have (thanks to the signing of Jake Allen) a top 3 to match virtually everybody else in the league.
Mythman Predicts – Despite the numerous setbacks the Bears management have encountered in their team building, they have managed to put together a very competitive looking lineup and one that looks more than capable of making the playoffs if certain riders live up to expectations.
Down the road to the Eddie Wright Raceway and the Scunthorpe Scorpions have an air of familiarity about their side. Of course still reeling from the huge loss of Danny Ayres, they will be keen to do well to honour his memory. Josh Auty once again leads the side and providing there aren’t any more faux retirements from him, you know exactly what you’re getting from him and that’s all action and all effort. He will be ably backed by Tero Aarnio and Thomas Jorgensen, who both return to the club after spells elsewhere. Simon Lambert and Theo Pijper ensure there will be plenty of experience in the middle order of the side backing up the heat leaders. Jake Allen had originally intended sitting out the 2021 British season, but his change if heart sees him head for Redcar. He is replaced in the side by young Aussie Josh MacDonald, who last turned out for Sheffield in 2019 and highly rated British youngster Jordan Palin, who will be fancied to be one of the top “Rising Star” riders, completes the line up.
Marty’s Key Man – Thomas Jorgensen
Team building at the Eddie Wright raceway took a major blow when Jake Allen told promoter Rob Godfrey that he wasn’t coming back so the Scorpions had to look elsewhere for a replacement. Having kept the riders that signed on for 2020 season I think the Key Man is the returning Thomas Jorgensen. Having left Scunthorpe some years ago and spending some time at different tracks, he and the Scorpions will be hoping he can return ‘home’ as it were and bring that level of consistency to become the genuine no.1 he is more than capable of becoming.
Mythman Predicts – The loss of Jake Allen is a huge blow to the Scorpions as he was starting to show signs of becoming a top rider at this level and now Redcar will reap the benefits. However while I don’t see the Scorpions troubling the front runners, I can see them being a tough nut to crack at home and being potential spoilers on their travels.
Saving the best til last, good things come to those who wait and all that jazz! Destination Shielfield, the reshaped Theatre of Dreams and your Bandits of Berwick. Another lineup with a familiar feel about it although it is still strange to see a Berwick side without Kevin Doolan as part of it. Aaron Summers is once again there to lead the side and his main back up should come in the form of the ultra stylish Nickolaj Busk Jakobsen. In saying that, Jye Etheridge has become somewhat of a cult hero at Berwick over the last few seasons and he must surely be looking at pushing on towards that number one race jacket. The middle order of the side consists of Coty Garcia and the enigmatic Dany Gappmaier who, as I’ve said in the past is often the go to guy to pull out a win at home just when you need it. The likelihood of him doing the same at the likes of Eastbourne and Leicester would be fairly slim, however if the Bandits are to make an impact on the road, him turning low scores into even fours or fives could well hold that key. Last but by no means least, completing the side are reserve pairing of local lad Leon Flint and Kyle Bickley, who has the somewhat unenviable task of effectively replacing Kevin Doolan in the line up. Arguably two of Britain’s brightest young hopes, they are both experienced enough to know the level of progress required from them. If they can live up to that potential, the Bandits may well surprise a few.
Marty’s Key Man – Dany Gappmaier
Difficult one this to pick when it’s your own team because in a ideal scenario, all 7 lads will improve and hopefully bring some success to the club. Having thought about who maybe is the key man, it really was toss up between one or two riders but in the end, Dany Gappmaier is the Bandits key man. Capable of beating anyone round Shielfield he sometimes struggles on the more technical tracks. If he can start to get some decent scores at these places, the Bandits could be in a with great chance when the business end of season comes round.
Mythman Predicts – Consistency, continuity and team spirit has served the Bandits well over the last few seasons and the incredible work of the promotion deserves success. Not many teams will come to Shielfield and get a result but more points on the road are required if the Bandits are to go one better and make the playoffs in 2021.
Marty’s final word…whatever happens it’s just going to be great to see racing and catch up with everyone! Many thanks to ‘Mythman’ for letting me hijacking his blog a little bit and talking speedway.
Pleasure was all yours Marty! All jokes aside, many thanks to Marty for his input and expert opinion. Now let’s go racing!
Of course if you wish to agree, or disagree with the Mythman, have an idea for a feature, or you simply want to chew the fat over all things speedway, you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via the JB Speedway Media Facebook page. If your compliments, or indeed gripes can be contained to limited characters, you can send me a tweet @Mythman666.
Until next time…and there will be a next time.
Right I’ll hae’tae gan