Peterborough Panthers name their captain for the 2021 season
Scott Nicholls has been appointed captain of Peterborough Panthers for the new Premiership season.
Nicholls takes over from Hans Andersen as Crendon Panthers skipper with the club building up to their planned return to racing from mid-May.
The seven-time British Champion is a hugely experienced leader for both club and country, having captained Coventry to two top-flight titles, and he also enjoyed a successful stint in the role with Belle Vue.
But team boss Rob Lyon has stressed the decision is no reflection on Panthers legend Andersen and has hinted the unusual logistics surrounding the 2021 campaign played a part in the move, especially with the Dane also planning to race in Poland.
Lyon said: “There’s very little to choose between the two, but given the current climate and the fact that Scott is in the UK, it means he’s the more accessible.
“I’ve worked with Scott before, I know what he’s about. He’s a good fit for the job, and he’s very keen to do it.
“He’s certainly had enough experience over the years to help and encourage the rest of the boys as and when required.
“I know the travel situation is still a question and we’re still waiting for confirmation, even after Monday’s announcements. I’d like to think it will be fine, but you never quite know.
“I know we’ve all got ‘phones so communication shouldn’t be an issue, but when you need to talk to the captain about something, or to be somewhere with him for an event, it’s much easier if he’s based in the UK.
“So there are several elements to it, but it’s no slight on Hans in any way, shape or form, and it’s no reflection on whether he can do the job or not.
“Effectively we’ve got probably four captains in the team anyway who will all naturally pass on their experience, knowledge and encouragement, especially to (teenager) Jordan Palin, and to each other – naming Scott as captain doesn’t mean the others won’t contribute.”
Nicholls was delighted to accept the role and is keen to maintain a positive atmosphere, with Panthers due to launch their season at Sheffield on May 20.
He said: “I am honoured to be made captain of the team. It’s a huge honour and one I will be taking seriously.
“It’s an important job and I will be getting around the pits on race-night making sure everyone is ready and not having any issues.
“Having a few older heads in the team means we will all get on and can deal with any issues we have, which will be a good thing.
“I have been in teams before where little things fester between riders and it can split the camp, but I’m confident we won’t have any issues.”