Hawkins: We weren't good enough Tippers R Us


Hawkins: We weren’t good enough

Saturday 27th May 2017

Tru7.com’ Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins admitted his side were simply not good enough on the night as they were defeated 54-38 by Workington on Saturday.

The Witches did not start well and Hawkins made no excuses for his side despite conditions being tricky early on.

“It was a disappointing night,” said Hawkins. “We never seemed to get any momentum going and we were on the wrong end of some bad decisions. As a complete team though, we were not good enough.

“There were problems with the track to start with but after a couple of heats they did a lot of work on it and it was a good track after the work was done. It was a shame that it wasn’t done at the start of the meeting but hindsight is a wonderful thing.”

The boss gave his backing to Kyle Newman who was frustrated with his performance on the night and was impressed by the attitude of Nathan Greaves.

“Kyle is doing alright, he is behind everyone else as he has not got the meetings under his belt. He is picking up points but obviously by his standards he is not doing as well as we know he can. It is to be expected and is understandable and I have no concerns over him and he is doing ok. For how good a team we are on paper it was wasn’t a good enough performance though. I was really impressed with Nathan, he had two big falls but got back up and battled hard for his points and that really impressed me.”

Hawkins says they must forget Saturday’s result and turn their attentions to Thursday at Foxhall against Newcastle.

“We have got to put this result to bed, it is done and we need to move on quickly as Newcastle are always good at our place and I don’t see it being any different this year.”

Words: Henry Chard

More News

Workington ‘Thomas Armstrong’ Comets 54

Craig Cook (c) 14

Mason Campton 7+2

Ty Proctor 10

James Sarjeant 3

Thomas Jorgensen 8

Matt Williamson 10+2

Rob Shuttleworth 2+1 (Withdrawn) 


Ipswich ‘Tru7.com’ Witches 38

Danny King (c) 12+1

Cameron Heeps 3

Justin Sedgmen 3

Kyle Newman 4+1

Rory Schlein 10

Connor Mountain 2

Nathan Greaves 4+3


Championship Table



































Next Meeting: C1 1st June vs Newcastle (home)


Hawk Eye

Great signs of potential

It’s been disappointing not to have seen the 1-7 that we signed and it has been a tough start to the season. There have been great signs of a lot of potential and the home form has been brilliant but obviously, it has been disappointing away from home so far.

Injuries happen in the sport and it is part of the game. Losing Kyle (Newman) before the season started was a blow and it is something you have to deal with every year. You know when you build your team at the start that it can happen but going forward we have Kyle coming back and hopefully we have got all of our troubles out of the way.

It was horrible not going to two meetings last week due to illness and it is not nice to miss meetings especially when things are stacked against us. You want to be there helping everybody and trying to make life easier for everyone else. Unfortunately, Cam (Heeps) decided to pass the bug onto me!

I think one of the positives so far this season has been the team spirit even though we’ve had riders missing. Sarj (James Sarjeant) came in and he is very much part of Ipswich from last year and fitted in and everyone has got on brilliantly. The team spirit amongst everyone will be a massive plus as the year goes on for us.

With an injury, first off you need to know how long the recovery time is. Between Chris (Louis) and I we probably have a good idea whilst you wait for the medical report or expert opinion but between us we can gauge it quite well. In general, running R/R is not too bad as a short-term fix but as a long-term option it is better if you can have a regular rider in the team. Then it is the same as at the start of the year when you are building the team, you look at who is available and who you think will be the best fit for the team.

What I always said to myself as a rider was not to feel sorry for yourself and the first thought is how can I comeback. Your focus is straight away on getting back racing as quick as possible and how you can shorten the time you’ve been told you’ll be out injured. Generally, you try and half what the doctors say.

Kyle has still been very much a part of the side and in some ways, it is not a bad time to get injured at the start of the year because you race all year for the glory at the end and that’s the bit you race to get to. He is a few weeks behind but there is still a massive chunk of the season ahead. Nico (Covatti) will miss a larger portion of the year and it is tough on him.

The crowds so far have been a massive plus for the club and they have carried on from the end of last season coming to support us. I think the town is excited about the side we can potentially put out. We have only raced four of the nine Championship teams so far and we will have closer meetings at home. We all expect the track to improve as the season goes on.

I think it’s a bonus that crowds seem to be up at a lot of places and we need to build on that as a sport. We can’t rest on that and we know massive improvements need doing to the sport and it is far from perfect but it does show there is potential for people who want to come and watch speedway. Speedway needs to become a lot more professional from the top but it shows the sport is not dead in the water.

I will be with Danny (King) at Newcastle on Sunday for the British semi-final and it is good to be at Newcastle anyway as we have four Witches there with Sarj so there is a massive interest. Rory (Schlein) is a British citizen so I think he has right to do it if he wants to. If he wants to do the British Championship then it would be nice if he was available to do the World Cup but I’m not sure he is too keen to do that or he is eligible for it. It’s not a rare thing though, it happens in all sports, you look at our cricket team, the women’s tennis team, the Irish football team for example. He lives in Britain, has a British passport, a British wife and kids and pays his tax and has been a great servant to British speedway and it is what is.

See you all soon,



More from Hawk Eye
Ipswich tru7.com Witches speedway team logo


From The Top

I can see us going on a strong charge

I look back on the first month of the season with mixed emotions. We put out a strong side on paper at the start of the season and I don’t think we are ever going to see it which is unfortunate but we won’t let that beat us.  Given the circumstance we have been under it has been a good start to the season. I think we have dropped points because of our injuries and illness, not many but a few which ultimately could make the difference if it is nip and tuck at the end of the season. I can still see us going on a strong charge once we get up and running with seven fit riders and a few meetings under our belt and I think we will have more than enough to be competitive and stick in there.

We want a team that will get on and help each other and that is worth a few points on its own. Ultimately though, it is the points they score that matter, we need to outscore the opposition home and away and win meetings. Every decision we make is based on that and we have got to get it right for the team, it is simple really. It’s been a difficult start but having said that if we compare it to last year, we have made a better start and we made the play-offs last year. When I look at it like that there is no panic.

Illness is not very common thankfully and hopefully lasts for a meeting or so. Unfortunately for Cam (Heeps) his came when we had three meetings in quick succession and of course Ritchie (Hawkins) then fell ill too which didn’t help. Injury wise as soon as it happens Ritchie and I talk. First of all, you need to know the prognosis of the rider involved and how long he is likely to be out for. That really makes your decision on whether you can wait for them for a couple of weeks and use R/R if you don’t have a busy period. The other option, if it is long term and you are busy in that period, you have to replace the guy. You have to wait to know a little about the injury before you can make cast iron decisions.

There is a certain amount of support structure for injured riders at some clubs and of course as a club you try to give that injured rider as much support as you can in whatever way he needs. Ultimately, away from the meetings though, the riders are their own business and need to look after themselves. The motivation to get fit as soon as possible is there because if you are not riding you are not earning. It is a tough one for speedway riders because for example, injured footballers want to play and want to be in the squad of course, but ultimately the club arranges all of your treatment and continues to pay your wages. Things are not quite as bad as they are when you are a speedway rider. That is the motivation for every rider, to get back fit and riding and earning again.

The Foxhall track is good but I have been a little disappointed. I’m very happy with the surface we have got thanks to our sponsors Tippers ‘R’ Us. Everything has gone well and as I had hoped but at the moment the racing has not produced. I think that has been down to our opposition and their attitude towards our team or track, I don’t really know. We have been fairly dominant at home and we have not seen the best racing. As the season goes on we have some attractive fixtures with Sheffield coming back and Glasgow at Foxhall. So, yes I have been happy with the track but no I haven’t been as happy with the racing, that is no reflection on the track though or the team.

I can’t go into what needs to be done in the sport as it is a long large process but I am pleased that some things have been done and some parts of the organisation have been improved. There is a long way to go and I think the crowds have slightly improved this year. It is what it is, it’s a good sport, it’s exciting and I think local people are turning to speedway as an option to football. I think one or two people in the smaller towns where there isn’t a major club like in Manchester or London, are thinking about speedway as a family sport to go to and support.

The Grand Prix is a real tough one to call this year and it is as competitive as the Championship. There is a bunch of experienced Grand Prix riders and there is a bunch of younger new guys to the Grand Prix and I honestly don’t know how to call it. Winners have been coming from the more experienced Grand Prix riders in the last few years but for me it is time for another youngster to come in like Tai (Woffinden) did when he was starting out and it would be nice to see one of the young guns get more consistently involved.

I think Rory (Schlein) joining the field is good for the British Championship but it sits a bit strangely when I think of the British Championship but times do change! He is based here and has been a good servant to British speedway and races on an ACU licence. There is no reason for him not to be involved and it can only be a good thing. With Kyle’s (Newman) inclusion I think we have a good chance of seeing all three of them in the Final. In one way, it’s a shame they are all in one round but the other round would have clashed so that was no good. Even, so I think they all have a chance of getting to the Final.

Thank you for your continued support,



More from Chris Louis


King's Speech

The team spirit is brilliant

The season has been full of bad luck so far, especially on the road! We seem to be holding our own at home but it’s one thing after another at the moment but our luck has got to change soon. The Championship is always tough and they are all tough meetings. It is a level playing field this season and you are seeing a lot of funny results, teams losing at home and then winning away but it just goes to show how competitive it is.

The spirit is really good in the team considering everything that has gone on. It’s nice to have Kyle (Newman) back and it’s a shame we won’t see the team we started with on the track at the same time now that Nico (Covatti) is injured. It is what it is and we need to get on with it.

I think it is important to get the right characters and we are lucky that we have a team of good guys and riders. I’m sure there are some scenarios where you get a good rider who is not a team man and that is not good for morale. We have got a good team and the spirit has been brilliant and it’s nice to welcome Kyle back and I’m sure he is looking forward to it too.

I’m feeling good now but the past couple of weeks have been hard. After the crash at Sheffield, I was riding every day and didn’t have any time to rest up. I have a couple of days off now before Thursday’s meeting against Berwick so I can rest up a little. I’ve had a lot of clutch issues but we seem to have sorted that, so it’s onwards and upwards now.

Coming back from injury is never easy but it depends on the injury. In Nico’s case, it’s tough because it is a long road back. It’s not a case of just being out for two weeks and then you’re back. It’s a waiting game and we don’t know if it is going to be eight weeks or 12 weeks. It’s a nasty accident he has had and from what I am hearing the operation has gone well so hopefully as soon as he is out of hospital he can get on the mend. I’m sure he will go and see his own doctor in Italy and get a second opinion and get a target in his head.

There is no secret to my form at Foxhall and I don’t feel invincible that’s for sure! I love the track, it’s my home track and I want to go out there and win every race, like I do anywhere I go. I know the lines and I know where to go. I have been gating well since we sorted out the clutch issues and that makes a big difference.

I really like the new track and it certainly gives you more options. Luckily for me I haven’t had to utilise the extra space yet. I have had to make a couple of passes and when I have it has been good and there certainly is more room coming into the corner and there will be a lot more passing at that point of the track.

The support has been brilliant and the following has been unbelievable this season. Especially considering how cold it has been this season, they have come out in force every week and it is great to see.

It’s been good to get a place with Leicester in the Premiership but the first few meetings I have done with them were when I was having clutch issues. Since then I have done a few meetings with them but not many and it will be nice to get a few more under my belt and get going! I have had one home meeting with them since they made track changes and I struggled a little bit working out where to ride and the set-up but I’m going to go and do some practice before the next home meeting and try and dial that in.

I’m at Esbjerg in the Grand Prix Qualifiers on May 6 and it’s a track I have been to before. It’s a typical Danish track, normally pretty slick and I’m confident going there and the goal is just to get through to the semi.

It’s the first British semi-final on Sunday at Newcastle with the inclusion of Rory (Schlein). Rory has been riding on a British licence for some time now and if he is eligible it is simple really. He is going to get some stick for not being British but it does not bother me. I have got to go out and do my best and try and win and that is all I care about. It is a tough track and you need to be gating that is for sure as there is not much room for passing. I’m pleased we have been there this week and had a meeting there and it was nice to get that out the way and learn the track again ahead of the semi-final.


All the best,



More from Danny King

Foxhall Rd, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 5TL 01473 623640