Mildenhall Fen Tigers skipper Jordan Jenkins hoping fans can give his team the edge in title clash with Berwick Bullets
Mildenhall Fen Tigers captain Jordan Jenkins is urging fans to turn out in force and be at their most vocal for Sunday’s final National Development League (NDL) home fixture against the Berwick Bullets (3pm).
The West Row-based outfit could replace the Bullets at the top of the NDL table should they continue their recent upturn in form and secure a fifth straight victory.
Having lost 46-44 in the return fixture at Shielfield Park in July – which was the Fen Tigers’ last defeat – Jenkins believes it will be another close affair between the two sides, but one the Suffolk club can edge.
He said: “I think it is going to be a tough meeting as Berwick have got some good riders that are capable of riding in the Championship so we need to be on our best form.
“Hopefully we can get a good crowd to turn out and support us as the atmosphere when the stands are full is great.
“It is an important meeting and if we win on Sunday and against Armadale the following Friday then we can almost pick up the trophy we came so close to winning in 2018.
“It always makes a difference hearing the fans get behind you, especially when you win a heat or two. It is a great feeling and it really creates a bit of atmosphere.”
Although this will be Jenkins’ toughest test as captain this season, he insists he feels no additional pressure despite the significance of the fixture.
He said: “I won’t be putting any extra pressure on myself as I know what I’m capable of on the day and I can beat anyone around Mildenhall.
“It will be a case of working with the other boys and keeping their confidence up and just making sure we all look out for each other on the track.
“We always finish meetings strongly so hopefully we can start the way we finish and get the boys going in those first few races.
“When you have the play-offs you can avoid the odd mistake or two but this year if you don’t do well in two or three meetings you can slip away.
“Every point is crucial and a third place is better than a last so we have to make sure we don’t throw silly points away.”
With regards to his own progress this season, Jenkins, who doubles up his Fen Tigers duties in the NDL with riding for the Redcar Bears in the Championship, believes it has been a year full of positives.
“I think personally I’ve outweighed my own expectations and I’ve done better than I thought I would this year. It has been really positive for me but I’ve still got a few meetings left, “ added Jenkins.
“This year I feel has been a breakthrough for me as I have put a few points on my average in the National League to be one of the highest average riders in the league while I’ve scored regularly in the Championship and beaten some good riders at that level.”
Despite there being an element of uncertainty as to how the sport will be structured next year, Jenkins admits he would be keen to ride in the Premiership should he be offered the chance.
“If I had the opportunity to progress to the Premiership I would take it with both hands as it is time to kick on but we don’t know what is going to happen with the leagues over the winter,” added Jenkins.
“In an ideal world I would like to put the National League behind me and really progress but at the same time I don’t want to sound too big headed as I know where I came from and it is an important league to riders.”
The Fen Tigers will utilise the rider replacement facility to cover for Luke Ruddick at the weekend, while unattached rider Ryan Terry-Daley will replace fellow injury victim Sam Hagon.