Redcar v Sheffield preview
Redcar ‘ECCO Finishing Supplies’ Bears host the Sheffield Tigers in KO Cup action on Friday this week, with hopefully a new face in the line-up!
After releasing Theo Pijper earlier in the week, Danish star Thomas Jorgensen comes into the line-up to replace him, subject to BSPA approval being granted. Jorgensen is a rider who normally goes well round the Media Prima Arena, and co-promoter Jitendra Duffill is happy to bring him into the team:
I have brought in Thomas Jorgensen which should help to strengthen the top end of our side and we should see an improvement in our performances as a result. Thomas comes in on a 7.77 average and he has always shown a liking for our track. He is a rider I rate highly and I’m pleased to have eventually secured his signature after trying to sign him at the beginning of both 2017 and 2018! Fortunately he has had a change of heart as he initially didn’t want to ride Championship Speedway and I’m sure he will prove to be very popular.
To bring a new rider in inevitably means one has to depart, and Duffill admits it was difficult letting Theo go:
I’d like to thank Theo for his efforts this year. It’s always very difficult to let a rider go, especially one I like having around so much. Theo has tried everything to get back to the form he is capable of but our run of poor results so far means that somebody had to go. In all honesty there was a case for a few of our team to make way for Thomas, but my priority is to get us winning at home and unfortunately for Theo, he was averaging the lowest of our 7 this year around the MPA. I’m sure that everyone has their own options on who should have made way, but the whole point of making a change is to strengthen and I won’t let sentiments or politics get in the way of us fielding our best side.
It has been a tough couple of weeks for all involved with the club, but this week’s meeting at Sheffield on Thursday and at home in the return on Friday offer the Bears a chance to turn things around. It will not be easy though, as Sheffield are a strong side who have a good record around the Media Prima Arena. Duffill hopes this is the start of a positive run:
It’s been a very tough start to the season for everybody, club and fans alike. Now we have an opportunity to put things right and we must remain positive. Sheffield were dominant here a few weeks ago in the Championship Shield so we are very keen to make amends for that. I think we look much stronger with Thomas Jorgensen at number 5 and it will take a little pressure off Matej Kus who moves to number 4. Things must improve from this week and we won’t rule out further changes in the coming weeks if form doesn’t improve and other options become available. However, I still believe we are capable of doing much better.
The Bears will be without German Tobias Busch for the two meetings. As he was ill with a non-speedway injury for the Newcastle match on Sunday, his license is automatically suspended for 1 week. Rider replacement will operate to cover his rides. Sheffield, who include ex-Bears Charles Wright, Lasse Bjerre and Jan Graversen in their ranks, are at full strength.
Redcar: Ben Barker, r/r for Busch, Jonas B Andersen, Matej Kus, Thomas Jorgensen, Mikkel B Andersen, Jordan Stewart
Sheffield: Kyle Howarth, Todd Kurtz, Jan Graversen, Lasse Bjerre, Charles Wright, Jack Smith, James Shanes