Local lad Simon Lambert became the latest piece of the Peterborough Panthers jigsaw to be slotted into place tonight (December 12).
The 25 year-old has been handed a reserve berth by the city club and was officially unveiled at a supporters’ club bash.
Lambert, based at Gosberton Risegate, near Spalding, has plenty of Premier League experience after almost a decade in the sport, but he believes a move to the East of England Showground can help him progress.
He reckons it will be a dream to race regularly for a club he watched from an early age.
Lambert, on a 3.73 average, said: “I’ve watched speedway at Peterborough since I was four years-old and it is great to be able to call myself a Panthers rider.
“It is probably the best opportunity I could have got in the Premier League and it is going to be an important season for me.
“My average has been up above five points in the past when things were going really well for me and hopefully I can start lifting it up again.”
Lambert finished last season in good form at Workington as they pipped Panthers to the final place in the Premier League play-offs.
He had earlier been released by Rye House during a campaign in which he also suffered a broken hand.
Lambert added: “A lot of people thought it was the move to Workington that really got me going again.
“It probably was a factor, but the biggest reason was that I changed a lot of machinery and started using engines from Peter Johns which worked really well.”
Lambert has made three previous guest appearances for Panthers during their Elite League days – one of which was at number one in 2008 due to club legend Ryan Sullivan having a clash with an overseas fixture.
He will also be racing at Elite League level next season after being drafted by Leicester as part of the Fast Track system.
Panthers chief Ged Rathbone said: “I was at a few Workington meetings towards the end of last season and Simon did very well in them.
“His new machinery sparked an upturn in fortunes and I fully expect that to carry on at Peterborough next year.
“The comment made about all of our signings to date also applies to him – he can definitely put at least a point on his average if everything goes to plan.”
Lambert’s arrival at Alwalton leaves only one space in the Panthers team for 2015, but club bosses are not expected to rush into making a decision on who will take that berth.
They have just over three-and-a-half points to play with to complete a side also made up of number one Olly Allen, captain Ulrich Ostergaard, teenage whizz Robert Lambert, fans’ favourite Lewis Blackbird and the returning Adam Roynon.