The Lynn Stars revealed their entire Elite League 2013 speedway team at a supporters meeting on Wednesday – beginning with the signing of heat leader Rory Schlein on a full transfer from Coventry.
The Aussie got a rapturous reception when he emerged from the crowd at a packed Linnet Lounge at King’s Lynn Town Football Club.
Former Elite League Riders Champion Schlein (28) by his own admission did not enjoy last season with Belle Vue and said it was an easy decision to make the switch: “I know (Stars team boss) Rob Lyon well and he was keen to have me here.
“The times I rode for Lynn last year were some of the only meetings I enjoyed.”
Lyon said of the World Cup rider: “He is more than capable of doing a fantastic job for us.” Club promoter Jonathan Chapman added: “Lynn is the perfect place for him to step up.”
The line-up is subject to confirmation of a loan deal being thrashed out for number one Niels-Kristian Iversen with parent club Peterborough. If the Dane returns he will form a formidable front pairing with No. 2 Schlein. Iversen said: “If I can’t ride for King’s Lynn next season then I will not ride in the UK next year, that’s all I have to say.”
Last year’s skipper Mads Korneliussen is the only other rider remaining from 2012. Kozza Smith, who would have featured last term but for injury, gets his chance with new reserve partner, the highly-rated Swede Sebastian Alden.
Dane Nicolai Klindt and 2012 title winner Simon Stead – who worked under Lyon when he was Great Britain manager – complete the Norfolk Arena team.
Lyon says he is “as enthusiastic as I’ve ever been in the last two or three years” after a post-season break, when a few months ago he was considering his future following a frustrating rain-hit campaign.
Schlein added: “Every rider can put something on their average. I know every promoter says that, but the riders in this team can do it.”
The Stars also made a plethora of announcements, including beginning their pre-season with a Tom Topinka Farewell Meeting on Friday, March 8 to honour the Czech stalwart, who will hang up his leathers with this testimonial occasion.
This is followed by a team preview evening on Friday, March 15; the Ashley Jones Memorial Meeting on Friday, March 22; and then a mouth-watering opener to the campaign – a double-header with local rivals Peterborough on Good Friday, March 29 (away 2pm, home 7pm).
The Elite side and the National League side – who announced the signings of Lewis Kerr and Jake Knight – will then continue with a regular Wednesday race night. The bar area at the Saddlebow Road stadium has already been knocked down, and a new bar and grandstand extension will be completed next year.
Full team and averages: Rory Schlein 7.33, Niels-Kristian Iversen (provisional) 8.84, Mads Korneliussen 6.70, Nicolai Klindt 5.68, Simon Stead 5.75, Sebastian Alden 5.75, Kozza Smith 3.43. Total 42.28.