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Former Stoke Potters boss Malcolm Vasey relishing the chance to manage National League side Mildenhall Fen Tigers

New Mildenhall Fen Tigers manager Malcolm Vasey has described receiving the chance to take charge of the club in 2019 as like a dream coming true, writes Graham Clark.

Having spent the previous nine seasons as Stoke Potters’ manager, Vasey will take the Fen Tigers helm after outgoing boss Phil Kirk opted to take up a general managerial role with the new consortium running the third tier club.

“I’ve always had a soft spot for Mildenhall Fen Tigers as I was an announcer there for a few years and that was what got me into speedway,” said Vasey.

Mildenhall Stadium
Mildenhall Stadium

“I was thrilled when they rung me. I would not have gone to any other team and it is a dream come true. I’ve often driven past Fiveways roundabout on my way to Stoke thinking wouldn’t it be nice if I was only going to Mildenhall but I never thought I would get the chance.

“The people at Stoke have been very good but they understood my decision with my roots being at Mildenhall plus it was much closer to my home near Yarmouth. It was a no brainer really.”

As for Kirk he feels that the time is right to move on having helped the West Row-based outfit retain their National Trophy title along with reaching both the final of the National League Play-Offs and Knock Out Cup.

“I really enjoyed working with the magnificent seven last year and Dan Halsey. They were a credit to themselves and the club,” said Kirk.

“We had some great fun along the way but I feel that the time is right to move into a different area of speedway management with Mildenhall as the club enter a new era.”

With the Fen Tigers 2019 team already in place Vasey believes it is a side more than capable of packing a punch and providing fans with plenty of entertainment on the track.

“Danny Ayres is capable of beating anyone anywhere while I’m looking forward to seeing Jason Edwards and Charlie Brooks as they were rapid improvers last season,” said Vasey.

“Sam Bebee looked really effective at Mildenhall last season and although he had a couple of nasty knocks he improved again. David Wallinger I know quite well and he will be a massive handful once he gets the hang of things at Mildenhall – he could be an amazing success. Elliot Kelly comes highly recommended and I think Macaulay Leek is ready to step up and improve.”

While the fixtures for the National League are yet to be released the Fen Tigers have been drawn against the Leicester Cubs in the opening round of the Knockout Cup.

Should the Fen Tigers progress it could see Vasey face up to his former side in the semi-finals should they defeat the Plymouth Gladiators.

“It will not be easy by any means against Leicester but I’m very optimistic of beating them and it would be great to meet Stoke in the next round,” said Vasey.

“I’ve got no enemies at Stoke and I loved the place but I would love to knock them out of them out of the cup!”