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Mildenhall Fen Tigers captain Danny Ayres looks ahead to the 2019 season for National League side

Mildenhall Fen Tigers captain Danny Ayres feels that the club’s challenge match against a Poultec select side should put them spot on ahead of starting the defence of their National Trophy title, writes Graham Clark.

The West Row-based outfit will get their 2019 season under way with a visit by a team from the speedway training academy on Sunday, April 21 before facing Trophy fixtures away to the Isle Of Wight Warriors (April 25) and Plymouth Gladiators (April 26).

“First and foremost I am just grateful to have the club up and running this season to give the fans speedway. I’m proud to be part of it and am now itching to get going,” said Ayres.

BACK INVOLVED: Danny Ayres (6863118)
BACK INVOLVED: Danny Ayres (6863118)

“I think any challenge meeting like the Poultec one is good all round really as it gives us all another meeting and that bit more track time.

“It just helps get the rustiness of winter off our back which is going to be good and it just gets us back into the swing of it.”

Wet weather played havoc with the Fen Tigers’ fixture list in 2018 and it was not until May before they took to the track as a team which resulted with respective 59-31 and 61-29 away victories in the Trophy against the Warriors and the Gladiators, then racing as the Devils.

With only Ayres and Sam Bebee retained from last year’s side the 32-year-old has warned fans not to expect such an easy ride this time round against both sides.

“At the end of the day the Isle Of Wight is probably one of my favourite tracks and I feel unbeatable around there while I held the track record at Plymouth for a while last year,” said Ayres.

“You have got to remember that last year’s team was an exceptional team put together within the regulations and points limit.

“I think we have got riders that will all improve this year and hopefully Elliot Kelly at reserve can be our trump card.

“Our aim again has got to be to reach finals and the National League play-offs and then we will see what happens.”

Having had his 2018 campaign cut short when sustaining a broken wrist while on guest duties for Birmingham in September, the father of two claims he is very much back on track regarding his preparations for the new season.

“I’ve had two practice sessions since breaking the wrist – the latest at Rye House on Sunday,” said Ayres.

“I’m feeling good and although I’m a long way off where I want to be physically we are on the right road and I will continue working hard behind the scenes.”

On Monday the club unveiled its new-look logo and race jackets for 2019 along with announcing that Manchetts Rescue and Recovery would be the main club sponsor following a decision by KJM Road Sweepers to step down from sharing the role.