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Elliot Kelly enlists help of Mildenhall Fen Tigers legend Jon Armstrong to help him find some form




Elliot Kelly hopes the addition of former Mildenhall Fen Tigers fans’ favourite Jon Armstrong to his pit team can help give his season a much needed boost – starting with the visit of Armadale Devils on Sunday (3pm).

The 17-year-old has enlisted the services of Armstrong after suffering a difficult start to the campaign which has seen him score a combined total of seven points, excluding bonuses, in the Fen Tigers’ opening three fixtures.

Having upgraded his equipment over the winter, Kelly, who scored 2+1 during the Fen Tigers’ 46-44 defeat to the Berwick Bullets on Saturday, is struggling to identify why his season has failed to take off.

Elliot Kelly has enlisted the help of former Mildenhall Fen Tigers ace Jon Armstrong to help improve his points return Picture: Mark Westley
Elliot Kelly has enlisted the help of former Mildenhall Fen Tigers ace Jon Armstrong to help improve his points return Picture: Mark Westley

Kelly said: “It’s been a little bit of a struggle. I’m trying my absolute hardest but I don’t seem to be scoring the points.

“I’m not doing anything different to what I was doing in 2019. I feel a better rider but the points aren’t there.

“A couple of years ago I was making every start and now I’m struggling to beat one person out of the gate.

Popular former Mildenhall Fen Tigers rider Jon Armstong is set to help Elliot Kelly Picture: Mark Westley
Popular former Mildenhall Fen Tigers rider Jon Armstong is set to help Elliot Kelly Picture: Mark Westley

“It is definitely not my equipment as I upgraded that. It is something to do with me and I don’t know if that is mentally or with my technique.

“It is just so frustrating as I’m trying but getting no reward and it is doing my head in. I love racing my bike but it is so hard giving everything and getting no result.”

But he hopes he has now found the right guiding voice to change that.

“My granddad was in touch with Jon Armstrong earlier in the week and he said he would help me out for the rest of the season,” he said.

Elliot Kelly finished third in the 500cc category at the 2020 British Youth Championship
Elliot Kelly finished third in the 500cc category at the 2020 British Youth Championship

“When you have someone like Jon in the pits they can watch from the outside and when you come in from a race they can see what needs doing straight away if any changes are needed.

“Jon has been around longer than I remember and has raced at every track in the country and that is the sort of experience I need behind me.”

Though Kelly is thankful for the support of Armstrong he has set his sights on trying to have a similar mindset to one of his current team-mates to help further his career.

He added: “Speedway can be a proper evil sport when you are not performing and you can feel the whole world is on top of you.

“The best person I’ve seen deal with it is Sam Bebee as I never see him come off the track without a smile.

“He is always happy and that is the best sort of mentality to have. I just let things sit in my head but I need to forget about bad races and try to be more like Sam.”

With both captain Jordan Jenkins back from injury and number one Jason Edwards available the Fen Tigers will be at full strength for the first time since their opening night 45-45 draw against the Leicester Lion Cubs.

And Kelly believes their presence can help the West Row-based outfit secure their first win of 2021 and move off the foot of the National Development League table.

“We’ve got a good team this year and the team spirit is mint, we just need that one win together,” he said.

“We have only had one meeting where we have all been there. We are probably the strongest team on paper at full strength. When we are at full strength I can’t see people coming anywhere near us at home.

“My favourite thing about racing is when you win a race as the adrenaline and feeling is unbelievable. Hopefully I can get my first win under my belt on Sunday and score some good points.”

Read more: All the latest Suffolk sport

Read more: All the latest news from Mildenhall