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Mildenhall Fen Tigers captain Ryan Kinsley keen to put tough 2021 campaign behind him



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Ryan Kinsley is confident he can put one of the toughest seasons of his career behind him by excelling as Mildenhall Fen Tigers captain in this year’s National Development League (NDL).

Last year little went right for Kinsley, who was dropped by Premiership outfit King’s Lynn Stars before having his bike and equipment stolen in September – most of which was later recovered – shortly after signing for Championship side Redcar Bears.

Although the 23-year-old, who will double up his Fen Tigers duties with Championship outfit Scunthorpe Scorpions, scored plenty of big points in the National League for the Kent Royals, he admits it was still a mentally tough campaign.

Ryan Kinsley will skipper the Fen Tigers this season. Picture: Mark Westley
Ryan Kinsley will skipper the Fen Tigers this season. Picture: Mark Westley

He said: “Everything was in place for me at the start of last year then I got dropped by King’s Lynn after a few meetings and I was just left with racing for Kent in the National Development League before signing for Redcar when I then had my equipment stolen.

“Mentally it was hard last year and it took me down and it showed in my riding as it really knocked me back.

“Last year was one to forget and I’m now back with Mildenhall where I’ve had some great times and I’m back at Scunthorpe in the Championship. They were the two clubs I wanted to be at this year.

The Mildenhall Fen Tigers will be aiming to defend the National Development League title. Picture: Mark Westley
The Mildenhall Fen Tigers will be aiming to defend the National Development League title. Picture: Mark Westley

“I’ve cleared my head now and I’m back at two clubs where I can continue improving my riding again.

“I’ve experienced being captain before at Kent. Winning as a captain makes it more special to me as you can take pride in knowing you have hopefully helped others.”

While Kinsley is delighted to be back riding for the Fen Tigers he believes the team put together by the management is one that is capable of successfully defending their NDL title this year.

He said: “Mildenhall was always my first choice, as it was last year. Unfortunately then the averages meant it wasn’t to be. I always wanted to come here and although I did have other opportunities, as soon as I got the chance to come back here I jumped at it.

The rider is looking to put a tough 2021 campaign behind him. Picture: Mark Westley
The rider is looking to put a tough 2021 campaign behind him. Picture: Mark Westley

“I’ve ridden with most of the team while I spent last year at Kent with Alex (Spooner) and Josh (Warren), who improved last season and looked like clicking with this track straight away on the practice days we’ve had here.

“I’m really happy with the team that the club have put together. Jason Edwards will score big points home and away and we have got the potential to score good points throughout the team. I’m confident everyone will chip in and you should see that in the results.

“The away meetings might be a bit harder as some will have not had the experience on all of the tracks but we will help the younger lads get out there to score the points.”

When it comes to team players Kinsley is at the front of the queue, although he has set out a number of individual goals he hopes to achieve come the end of the season.

He added: “I want to keep the number one spot at Mildenhall this season and it will be a good battle with Jason but I also want to help the team bring some trophies back.

“I want to keep a high average in the National League and progress and move out of reserve in the Championship.

“In my head I want to be on an average that will make it hard for me to be in the National League next year as I want to push on in the Championship and hopefully get another chance in the Premiership.”

Looking ahead to the first leg of the Fen Tigers NDL Knock Out Cup semi-final clash with the Kent Royals on Sunday (3pm), Kinsley feels they will have to replicate their 51-39 success secured against the Poultec Select side at the weekend if they are to master his former club and progress to the final.

He added: “Hopefully the Poultec win has given the boys lots of confidence. Kent now race at Iwade and not Sittingbourne and I’ve not been there for years and that will be the same for a lot of the others so we need a good advantage to take there.

“They have got some good heat leaders in their team like Ben Morley and Alfie Bowtell but everyone is there to be beaten.

“We have just got to knuckle down, get a good head start and take a positive vibe into the away leg.”