Happy days? Thomas Jorgenson, team manager Alex Brady, co-promoter Dale Allitt and captain Lewis Kerr with compère Nigel Pearson at the Stars ‘2022 team reveal’ event last Thursday.Picture: IAN BURT.

It doesn’t matter that many fans think King’s Lynn Stars will not challenge for the top spot in 2022.

It really doesn’t matter that I think they won’t either – even if I’m desperately hoping to be proved wrong. Because it matters absolutely zip if they’re not in the mix for finishing first come the end of the regular Premiership season.

All that matters in a sport like speedway is what happens once the play-offs get under way. All of the other results and standings go out of the window.

All Lynn need to do in 2022 is finish fourth, although we’d all take them making a real fist of it, which would be a serious improvement on finishing bottom this year, only winning one home meeting.

Fourth gets them into the end-of-season shootout for glory and then it’s a lottery. Even if the Stars’ numbers don’t come up, at least they’ve bought a ticket to have a go.

Team boss Alex Brady and co-promoter Dale Allitt have built a team that looks like it’ll be exciting and could click. It might not look as strong on paper as the sides put together by 2021 winners Peterborough or Sheffield, but there’s definite scope for improvement and progress in terms of averages, strength in depth and inter-team movement.

It relies on one-time Grand Prix rider Peter Kildemand probably leading from the front but he’s not going to have the sort of pressure that Jason Doyle will be under at Ipswich to score massively. 

He’ll provide hard and exciting racing and, if it clicks, he could go on to become a proper No.1 who will be very difficult to beat around the Adrian Flux Arena.

It should be an intriguing battle between himself, Josh Pickering and Richard Lawson for that honour and I suspect we’ll see plenty of movement in team positions during the campaign, which is not a problem. Hopefully they can all push each other on.

A solid supporting backbone in Thomas Jorgenson, Lewis Kerr and Richie Worrall – all racers who will put everything on the line – means there shouldn’t be any real weak links. And that should avoid a 2021 horror show that did improve, definitely in terms of atmosphere around the club, when Brady took over.

It might not be anywhere like 2014 when Lynn, spearheaded by Niels-Kristian Iversen, finished joint-top of the table with Poole and dreams of finally winning a top-flight table almost became a reality. But they didn’t and finishing fourth, rather than second, would still provide the same opportunity this time around when the tapes go up.


Revved up after Motorcycle Live

I’m still on a high after enjoying a rare weekend working away.

Great job! Gav and Foggy.

My skills, if you can call them that, were required by Maze because one of our clients needed someone to host Q&As at an event they were the headline sponsor for.

So off to the NEC at Birmingham I went to get on the mic at Motorcycle Live to interview the brand ambassadors for Bikesure.

It gave me the opportunity to finally meet the legendary Carl Fogarty and YouTube and Instagram star Username Kate in person. It was a pleasure to chat to them about their careers on the stand.

A fun quiz added humour to the six sessions where punters gobbled up the chance to meet and greet the pair, especially Foggy, and it reminded me how lucky I am to sometimes call this a part of my job and life.

Eyeing the great bikes on display, enjoying the buzz of a crowd and getting the chance to interview in front of an audience again has left me revved up for our next live Your Local Paper event. We’ll reveal more on that in January.


Euro 2020 final chaos a big let off

I was probably a few too many lemonades down to be frightened.

But the more I think about the chaos at this summer’s Euro 2020 final – and the findings of the review into the disorder – the more I realise we were very lucky not to get hurt. There was certainly a very different feeling in the air compared to the semi against Denmark when we walked back down Wembley Way for the monumental clash with Italy. 

The potential for trouble certainly arrived with about 2,000 ticketless fans storming into the ground.

The pressure of a crush at the gate I was at started to build slightly before I managed to get in the ground but it appears the situation was worse elsewhere. 

Thankfully, myself, my mates and nobody else was seriously hurt on what should have been a day of celebration.

“We are genuinely lucky that there was not much more serious injury or worse, and need to take the toughest possible action against people who think a football match is somehow an excuse to behave like that,” said Baroness Casey in the report.

Excitement at the England men’s team’s first major final for 55 years, frustration at ongoing Covid restrictions and knowledge there would be empty seats in the ground due to a limited capacity remain excuses for what happened. But there can never be an excuse for acting how those ‘fans’ did.