Drama at Peterborough Panthers as the club sack their skipper and replace him with an 'exciting' Polish rider

Hans Andersen. Photo: David Lowndes.Hans Andersen. Photo: David Lowndes.
Hans Andersen. Photo: David Lowndes.
Peterborough Panthers have dramtically released skipper Hans Andersen and replaced him with an ‘exciting’ Polish rider.

Andersen, an all-time Panthers great, has failed to fire in the Premiership this term and his reserve berth has been taken by Patryk Wojdylo, who will be making his debut in British Speedway in Monday’s fixture against Wolverhampton at the East of England Arena (7.30pm).

The 24-year-old races for Rybnik in the second tier of the sport in his home country, alongside the likes of Brady Kurtz and Matej Zagar.

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Wojdylo has shown consistent form throughout the 2023 season, and has been paid for double figures in three of his last four league matches.

That followed on from a successful winter where he won the Argentine International Championship in a multi-round series.

Wojdylo comes in for Panthers on a 5.00 assessed average.

Panthers team boss Rob Lyon said: “Patryk has been recommended to us and we know he’s an exciting rider who the fans will enjoy watching.

“Having spoken to various people it’s all been good, positive news that’s been coming out about him, and he’s keen to come and race in the UK.

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“We’ve looked at all options and I feel all in all that it’s a positive move, and we have to look onwards and upwards.

“We have eight home matches to go and we want to get a good, consistent home track for the boys, and I’m sure that can be achieved.

“It would be great to win the majority if not all of those matches to at least finish the season on a high.”

Wojdylo’s arrival means the end of Andersen’s time with the Panthers. The great Dane’s achievements speak for themselves and make him one of the club’s greatest ever riders.

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He has ridden for Panthers in nine seasons throughout a glittering career which peaked in the mid-2000s with a series of Grand Prix wins, and he was part of the city side’s league title winning teams in both 2006 and 2021. He also won the Elite League with Swindon in 2012.

Lyon said: “It’s a very sad way to end for Hans and it’s not ideal, and it’s not what we really wanted.

“But I do think it was inevitable because he was struggling, and infrastructure-wise it’s been a problem for him all season behind the scenes.

“What doesn’t change though is that he is a legend of the club, and he always will be. He deserves that status for what he’s achieved, not only for Peterborough but in World Speedway over the years.

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“We had to think about what’s best for the team, though. We still have lot of meetings to come at home and we need to give the fans something to shout about.”

Wolverhampton make their first visit of the season to the East of England Arena on Monday, and they currently sit third in the Sports Insure Premiership table.

The Monmore men have a familiar looking outfit including Australian duo Sam Masters and Ryan Douglas, although Rory Schlein is a fitness doubt after an aborted comeback last week.

The aggregate point is also up for grabs and with this being a Round 1 fixture Wolves lead 50-40 from their win in the West Midlands in early May.

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PANTHERS: Niels-Kristian Iversen, Richie Worrall, Benjamin Basso, Ben Cook, Vadim Tarasenko, Patryk Wojdylo, Jordan Jenkins.

WOLVERHAMPTON: Sam Masters, Steve Worrall, Luke Becker, Rory Schlein, Ryan Douglas, Zach Cook, Leon Flint.