Jolly going it alone at the Fen Tigers helm
Kevin Jolly is convinced he can make a success of running the Mildenhall Fen Tigers as the National League club’s sole promoter.
Former rider Jolly is set to go it alone after fellow promoters Chris Louis and Michael Lee declared their intentions to stand down from their roles at the West Row-based outfit.
The trio, who saved the club and took charge at the start of the 2011 season, have enjoyed a successful partnership during their time together after overseeing the side win the 2011 Knockout Cup, the 2012 Grand Slam and this year’s National Trophy.
“There is still lots to sort out behind closed doors like setting up a new company in my name and buying the other two out, but this is going to happen,” said Jolly. “The whole thing has been very amicable.
“I know it will be a lot of hard work next year, but I have been knocked back by the amount of people willing to support me and I am very confident that I can make it work.”
While it was expected Lee would end his involvement with the club having taking on more of a backseat role this year, the departure of Louis comes as a slight surprise.
“I just had to look at how much work I was doing and with my role at Ipswich and my television work something had to give and reluctantly that was Mildenhall,” said Louis. “I will have memories that stay with me forever from the really good times there like watching us win the league against Cradley at King’s Lynn, and coming so close to winning the title in our first season.
“I won’t be washing my hands of the club as when the little time I have allows it I will be back up to support the team and the riders.”
News of the intended departure of both Louis and Lee arrives on the back of the conclusion of this year’s National League AGM, which was held on Tuesday.
From the meeting it was revealed the National League would next year be made up of 10 teams, while the points limit per team would be reduced from 40 to 36.
It was also announced Mildenhall — who will still be managed by Rob Henry — will not be hosting the National League Pairs, a meeting they have run for the past two seasons, with it switching to King’s Lynn.
“I am really happy with what happened at the AGM and I was one of those who voted for the points limit to be lowered,” said Jolly. “Although it does cause a few complications, what it does is move those riders on who need pushing up and helps to bring on the youngsters.
“As for the National League Pairs, I decided to step away from it as it is going to be a difficult year next year and with us running in three competitions we may not have been able to find a date to fit it in.”
In what has been a hectic few days for all those associated with the club, it was announced yesterday that Dan Halsey would be returning to the team for a fifth successive season.
“I had vibes that Danny had been offered big money at Eastbourne and he confirmed that and I thought he was gone,” said Jolly. “He is coming back on less than what he would have got there, which tells you all you need to know about his commitment to the club.
“We felt we needed a big hitter at number one and in Danny we have that.”