RIDER-OF-THE-YEAR Danny King has been tipped to reach the very top after settling back onto his Panthers throne.
RIDER-OF-THE-YEAR Danny King has been tipped to reach the very top after settling back onto his Panthers throne.Co-promoter Mick Bratley reckons persuading the sought-after rising star to return to Alwalton for the 2008 Elite League season is the shrewdest piece of business the Peterborough club will do all winter.
King – who will start next season on a bargain 5.69 average – won rave reviews this year and Bratley has predicted the club's latest capture will emerge as one of the biggest British talents in the business.
Although King is on the speedway transfer list, he will again be on loan next year with Panthers having the chance to push through a permanent deal after the 2008 campaign.
Bratley said: "Danny is a supremely professional rider and is determined to make it to the highest level.
"I have no doubt he is capable of going all the way in speedway and I fully expect him to pick up from where he left off next year.
"There won't be a more shrewd signing made all winter given Danny's average. I am sure he will be a heat leader and have finished in the top three of the British Final by this time next year."
Ironically a splendid performance in the national championship was the defining moment in King's season this year.
Until that meeting in early June he had struggled woefully in Panthers' colours, but after that he came of age by transforming his campaign amid a host of high scores.
But Huntingdon-based King, who captained the city side twice late in the season as a reward for his sparkling form, still expects more.
The former British Under 18 champion said: "It is great to be one of the first riders fixed up and it goes without saying that I am delighted to be back at Peterborough.
"This has been by far the best year of my career but I want to make even more improvement and Peterborough is the perfect place for me to do it."
King is the second Panthers rider confirmed for next year after club talisman Hans Andersen put pen to paper a fortnight ago.
And plenty more transfer activity beckons with Bratley admitting Danish racer Kenneth Bjerre is 'highly likely' to return and revealing Panthers' interest in highly-rated Reading rider Sam Simota.
The Czech charger could be up for grabs with Reading rumoured to be considering a drop into the Premier League.
Bratley added: "Sam is one of four riders the management of Peterborough identified as being on what we believe are on a falsely low average.
"I hope Peterborough fans will be able to see him week in, week out in 2008."