Panthers swoop for Swedish star

Ulrich Ostergaard is the new Panthers number one. Photo: David Lowndes.

Ulrich Ostergaard is the new Panthers number one. Photo: David Lowndes.

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Peterborough Panthers have swooped to sign Swedish star Jacob Thorssell this morning (June 30).

The city club have persuaded the former World Under 21 finalist to race in the Premier League for the first time in his career.

Thorssell (21) is a standing dish at Elite League level where he is currently enjoying a fourth successive season with parent club Wolverhampton.

And Panthers supremo Ged Rathbone is convinced he has pulled off a major coup by attracting Thorssell to the second tier.

Rathbone said: “This is a signing that ticks all the boxes. Jacob jumped at the chance to become a Peterborough rider and comes in within budget and within the points limit.

“It is a real coup for the club and I hope the fans are as excited about the arrival of Jacob as I am.

“He is a very highly-rated rider with lots of top-level experience both in this country and his homeland. He expects to do very well in the Premier League . . . and that is exactly what we expect of him.

“The league – and plenty of the tracks – will be new to him, but that is not a concern.

“He will suss things out very quickly and he will also make starts which is something we have not been doing lately.”

The capture of Thorssell completes a painstaking search for a replacement for Olly Allen, who suffered season-ending ankle injuries in a March smash.

Panthers have successfully called on guests to fill the void left by Allen, but that is no longer possible due to him dropping from the top of the club’s averages for July.

Skipper Ulrich Ostergaard takes over at the top of the order with Thorssell slotting into the main body on a mark of 7.42.

He is set to make his debut when Panthers entertain bottom side Redcar at the East of England Showground on Sunday (July 5, 3pm).

Rathbone added: “We have said all along that we would make the right signing at the right time – and hopefully we have done that.

“We felt we needed to react after losing twice at home lately and hopefully this move shows our ambition to reach the play-offs and challenge for the title.”

Peterborough Panthers line-up with averages: Ulrich Ostergaard 8.63, Jacob Thorsell 7.42, Robert Lambert 7.26, Lewis Blackbird 6.85, Michael Palm Toft 5.39, Simon Lambert 5.04, Rafal Konopka 3.00.