The Hammers are ready for action

The Lakeside Hammers Team Manager Neil Vatcher has issued a rallying call ahead of The Hammers first Elite League meeting against the Belle Vue Aces at the Raceway tonight (Friday 30thMarch).

Vatcher, who takes sole command as Team Manager in 2012, commented: “I’m really looking forward to the meeting against the Aces. There’s been a lot of speculation about the new Hammers line up, but now it’s time to put the talking to bed and get on with the action!

It will be a tough start for us, as Belle Vue traditionally ride the Lakeside track well and they have a certain Mr Adam Shields in their line-up, who knows the fastest ways around the Raceway.

However, I believe that we have a great mix of experience and youthful enthusiasm to counter this and the fact that Belle Vue have already competed in three matches. It has been well documented that the likes of Davey (Watt) and PK (Peter Karlsson) will be a great addition to the team. Along with scoring points on the track, their experience in the pits along with that of our skipper Lee (Richardson) means that the likes of Rob (Mear), Kim (Nilsson), Sedge (Justin Sedgmen) and Ritchie (Worrall) can just focus on doing their respective jobs out on track.”

One of the new Team Manager duties is to successfully navigate the new ruling, which only allows ’Tactical Rides’ between heats 5 and 12.  Vatcher continued:

“Although I would class myself as bit more of a strategic Team Manager anyway, there is even more to think about now, especially regarding the team set up.  As Hammers fans may discover over the next few weeks we might juggle the team around a little bit between home and away meetings.  The main reasons for this will be to allow us to defend a Tactical Ride at home, whilst also giving us the opportunity to make the best use of it away, hopefully on the rare occasions that we might need to, although I would like to think that we will not have to use it on too many times this season!”

Tonight’s visitors, Belle Vue, are still waiting for the completion of a work permit for Australian rider Travis McGowan, and so continue with Chris Schramm, whilst at reserve, Hugh Skidmore comes into the team to replace doubling up riders Josh Grajczonek and Claus Vissing, who are both away on Premier League duty.

Hammers fans are reminded that the pay booths open at 5.30pm, with access to the pits until 7.15pm ,  the pre-meeting parade beginning at 7.45pm and the first race at 8pm. Tickets are available on the night at the pay booths, or advance tickets can be purchased via the Hammers online store, which is accessed by clicking the Next Meeting image on the Lakeside Hammers homepage at

Teams (in alphabetical order):

Lakeside Hammers:  Peter Karlsson (Sweden), Robert Mear (Great Britain), Kauko Nieminen (Finland), Kim Nilsson (Sweden), Lee Richardson (Great Britain), Justin Sedgmen (Australia) and Davey Watt (Australia).

Belle Vue Aces: Linus Eklof (Sweden), Charlie Gjedde (Denmark), Patrick Hougaard (Denmark), Rory Schlein (Australia), Chris Schramm (Great Britain), Hugh Skidmore (Australia) and Adam Shields (Australia).

Picture credit:  Peter Karlsson of Lakeside Hammers – Lakeside Hammers Open Evening at the Arena Essex Raceway, Pufleet – 23/03/12 – Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO –