SPEEDWAY: Panthers sign Czech youngster

New Panthers rider Zdenek Holub.
New Panthers rider Zdenek Holub.
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Table-topping Peterborough Panthers have snapped up a new reserve talent.

The city club have announced the capture of Czech racer Zdenek Holub this lunchtime (June 1).

The 20 year-old, who has brief Premier League experience, is on a 3.09 average. Crucially his move was ratified by the British Speedway Promoters’ Association (BSPA) yesterday when his figure was still 3.00 which allows him to fit into the Panthers team.

And promoter Ged Rathbone insists it was an opportunity he could not ignore as he attempts to add more firepower to a side which jumped to the top of the standings with two Bank Holiday Monday wins.

Rathbone, said: “We had to move very fast to make this move happen and I’m delighted to be able to bring Zdenek into our team.

“He is a rider who has been on our radar for a while and he has an excellent pedigree.

“He has delivered some excellent performances on the continent and showed plenty of flashes of his ability while settling into British speedway.

“I’m confident the East of England Showground track will be right up his street and hopefully he will give us even more firepower down at reserve.”

Holub first arrived in British speedway last summer when snapped up by Premier League rivals Scunthorpe on a seven-point assessed average.

Holub was again included in the Scunthorpe septet for the current campaign, but he was squeezed out of the struggling side after suffering a shoulder injury in an April crash at the East of England Showground when tangling with Michael Palm Toft, who is now, ironically, a Scunthorpe rider.

Panthers have dropped Tom Stokes after only one Premier League appearance to make way for Holub.

Rathbone says the local lad will continue to be part of the Panthers set-up.

He added: Tom had a taste of what the Premier League is all about and we’ll continue to work closely with him on his development.

“He is someone who could well be a Peterborough rider again in the future.”

Tom Pery, who is currently sidelined after collar-bone surgery, still classes as Panthers’ compulsory British rider after starting the season on a three-point average.

NEW PETERBOROUGH PANTHERS LINE-UP (with June averages): Craig Cook (10.35), Ulrich Ostergaard (8.04), Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen (7.15), Tom Perry (5.58), Emil Grondal (5.00), Simon Lambert (4.38), Zdenek Holub (3.09)