Peterborough Panthers all conquering ‘Dad’s Army’ are back for 2022 and they’ve enlisted a hot young recruit
Peterborough Panthers will have a familiar look about their team next season.
Six of the seven 2021 Premiership champions have been named in the 2022 side with only Bjarne Pedersen missing as he heads into retirement.
But Panthers have snapped up a talented replacement in fellow Danish racer Ben Basso, who won the Championship with Poole this year.
It means Scott Nicholls returns to lead the side, Ulrich Ostergaard has confirmed he will be fit and ready, Hans Andersen, Michael Palm Toft and Chris Harris are back and youngster Jordan Palin has a second season as the team’s ‘Rising Star’ rider.
Nicholls said: “I’m delighted to be back, even more so knowing that it’s an almost untouched team. ‘Dads Army ‘are back again! Can we do it again? Who knows, but it’ll be good fun trying! Having almost the same team back next season is huge and very rare nowadays.
“It’s not just good for us riders and maintaining that superb team spirit, but for the fans as well.
“They’re a part of the team and the success and it’s lovely for them to be supporting the same faces again. It’s part of what, for me, was the winning formula.”
Ostergaard missed the last part of the stunning 2021 season after a serious crash left him badly hurt at Edinburgh.
But he’s well on the road to recovery and is looking to step up his training in January.
Ostergaard said: “The injury is healing well which is good news. Going forward I can do more and more every day and the physio is positive so I just want to be back racing soon.
“I still can’t train the way I want yet, but I build on it every day with different things so hopefully in the New Year I’m okay to go full gas with training.
“I’m really pleased to be back at Peterborough and really want to make up for lost time. It was great to see the boys lift the league trophy a couple of months ago, but from my side it was frustrating not being on the track scoring the points to help the boys.
“We have more or less the same side and the team spirit was great. If we can carry on from where we finished off last season I’m sure we will be in there again fighting for the league.”
Replacing Pedersen was a vital task for boss Rob Lyon and he’s delighted to land Basso.
“We drew up a shortlist of candidates for that position, and there were one or two on there who would have fitted the bill and done the job,” Lyon said.
“Out of all of them, we just felt Benjamin was the one that potentially has the most in him to improve, and he was the best of those who were available to us.
“I’ve watched some videos of him and he’s an exciting, full-throttle rider, and we’re looking forward to seeing him.”
Basso (20), meanwhile, has been tipped as a future superstar by Poole owner Matt Ford.
But the rider himself says he still has a lot of learning to do particularly now he has his big chance in the Premiership.
Basso said: “Superstar? Maybe, but I have to cut out some silly mistakes. I have to work on these faults to become a better rider. I do feel like I can do so much better than I have done so far, but I have to improve my overall performances on the track and get the consistent engine performance I am searching for.”
The Premiership will again have just six clubs with a 39-point limit for six riders plus a rising star.
Panthers season tickets for 2022 will be available for purchase soon.