Speedway: Wells backed to win over critics

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DAVID Hoggart is expecting Ricky Wells to hit the ground running when Tigers launch their season in March.

Wells finally agreed terms on a new deal this week for a second successive season in Sheffield colours after weeks of negotiations. He still has to win over a section of the Owlerton crowd because of his inconsistent displays but is backing the Californian to start the season well.

“It took Ricky a while to settle in Sheffield,” said Hoggart. “He has never had a track like this as his home circuit before and it is the fastest track in British Speedway; people should remember that.

“He was rider of the year for Wolves in the Elite League and I firmly believe that with a season here under his belt he can start well and have a fine season for us.”

Hoggart admitted negotiations were far from easy after a tough season for the club.

But he said: “Obviously I am delighted; it hasn’t been easy for either of us but we have both moved so that the original offer could be re-drafted to make us both happy.

“Ricky has set his stall out to capitalise on his excellent performances towards the end of last year and expects big things of himself.

“His rostrum spots in the Monster Classic and the Rob Woffinden Memorial meeting demonstrate his spirit and positive frame of mind at the moment and he is genuinely excited to be back.

“I have to thank Chris Van Straaten and Peter Adams at Wolves for their help and support; they are right behind Ricky and have always encouraged his Premier League racing.”