Our supporters will play a huge part in keeping the club on track

Ged Rathbone has two targets for 2018.

Thursday, 22nd March 2018, 2:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd March 2018, 3:00 pm
Ulrich Ostergaard and Ged Rathbone.

The Panthers owner wants his side to again challenge for trophies on the track while also balancing the books off it.

And he’s called for the people of Peterborough to again show their support by flocking to the East of England Arena in good numbers throughout the new campaign.

Rathbone said: “We know we’re competing against a number of clubs with greater resources at this level, but we all love the challenge of trying to deliver success.

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“We managed to do it last season when it was absolutely fantastic to win two trophies. We all want more silverware and that’s the aim as we go into the new season.

“We’re confident we have a competitive team and the aim is to sneak into the play-offs and progress in the cups.

“We’re never among the teams tipped to do well, but that doesn’t worry us in the slightest. We try to sign the riders we feel are right for our model and we believe there is the potential for massive improvement during the course of the year.

“The supporters have been absolutely brilliant throughout my three years in charge and I ask them to stand by us again. They’re a huge part of keeping the club on track.”

Rathbone insists that being able to use of three of the club’s own assets in their 2018 line-up - Ulrich Ostergaard, Emil Grondal and Tom Bacon - is pleasing. They join number one Scott Nicholls, Michael Palm Toft, Nike Lunna and Emil Grondal in a much-changed side.

Drafting in riders owned by other clubs leads to loan fees – which can run into thousands of pounds – and put a dent into the finances.

“Working with our assets can save thousands and that’s never been more important in speedway,” added Rathbone.

“These are tough times financially – in all walks of life – and that has to come into our thinking. Loan fees very quickly add up and take a big chunk of the budget.

“Speedway is a business and we have to ensure we continue to break even – just as we have done as a minimum for the past three years.

“There is no big pot of gold here. The club has to pay for itself and this is another big step towards doing that.

“We’re also looking to add to our asset base in the near future to put ourselves in a stronger position when it comes to building our team in years to come.”