Dashing Dane Anders will thrill Panthers fans

New Panthers signing Anders Thomsen.
New Panthers signing Anders Thomsen.
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Latest signing Anders Thomsen will thrill the Panthers fans . . . according to one of the men who persuaded him to join.

The Danish ace, who currently sits third in the World Under 21 Final standings, has been drafted in to replace retired Lewis Blackbird.

He will make his debut when Panthers entertain fellow play-off qualifiers Somerset at the East of England Showground on Bank Holiday Monday (3pm).

And captain Ulrich Ostergaard, credited with playing a big part in the capture along with countryman Emil Grondal, is adamant Thomsen (21) will be a big hit.

He said: “I rode with Anders in Denmark last year and know him very well.

“He was very good last season and he has upped his game to another level this year.

“He is scoring really well for his Danish and Polish clubs, and he has shown everyone what he is about in the World Under 21s.

“It is tough to come over to England so late in the season, but that won’t worry him. He is the sort of guy who just concentrates on racing his bike.

“He will definitely excite the fans. He is not the best gater but he is really light, really quick and loves to pass people. The Showground should suit him perfectly.”

Panthers will continue to use the rider replacement facility for Blackbird in their tough away tests at Ipswich (tonight) and Somerset (tomorrow) ahead of Thomsen’s arrival.

Ostergaard is scheduled to make his comeback at Somerset after almost four weeks out with a broken hand sustained in a crash during the abandoned Premier League Fours event at the East of England Showground.

The Panthers skipper had also experienced rib pain since the spill with Ipswich rider Nico Covatti on August 2.

He added: “I’m looking forward to being back. I don’t think my hand could handle two meetings in two days which is why I’m waiting to return at Somerset and not at Ipswich.

“I’ve been out cycling and the hand has felt okay, but that is obviously different to riding a speedway bike.

“My ribs haven’t been feeling too clever either since the crash in the Fours, but I’m sure I’ll be fine once I’m back.”

Providing Thomsen arrives as scheduled, and Panthers don’t suffer any further injuries in the two away meetings, they will track a full one-to-seven of their own riders for only the third time this season on Bank Holiday Monday.

It also happened against Somerset in a League Cup clash in March and in a league victory over Redcar in early July.