A pleasure to help Panthers out says top man Starke

Paul Starke in action against Redcar. Picture: David Lowndes
Paul Starke in action against Redcar. Picture: David Lowndes
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Star guest Paul Starke led Panthers to a successful SGB Championship start – then gave his former club a glowing endorsement.

Starke was part of the city side that completed a Fours and KO Cup honours double last season before moving to big-spending Glasgow during the winter.

But he stepped back into the Panthers fold to cover for injured racer Michael Palm Toft as they beat Redcar 51-39 at the East of England Arena last Sunday in their league opener.

Starke followed up his top-scoring 12-point performance by insisting: “I’m really happy with that. It was great to be able to come back and put a load of points on the board for Peterborough.

“I love the track, the promotion are a great bunch of guys and it was a pleasure to help them out.

“I think they have built another good team when everyone gels together. On their night they will be unbeatable, but there may be some tougher days too.

“There are some strong teams in the league this year – I think the Glasgow have the strongest on paper – but you need to have that little bit of luck on your side as well.

“It was great to win trophies with Peterborough last season and I want more silverware this year.”

Team boss Carl Johnson was full of praise for the display of his chosen guest. He also likes what he sees from the new-look Panthers septet after three victories from four meetings in all competitions so far in 2018.

“I sent a message to Ged (Rathbone, owner) and Neil (Watson, co-promoter) as soon as I heard ‘Tofty’ was injured to say we should get Paul in,” revealed Johnson.

“We did a deal with him in no time at all and he showed why we booked him. He wanted to ride for us and produced an excellent performance.

“We’re obviously very pleased with the way we’ve started. We knew we needed to hit the ground running in such a short season and we’ve done that.

“We set out to win every meeting. The boys have a great mentality and there is also a great spirit in the camp already.

“We were probably a bit unlucky to come away from Lakeside with nothing so we could have been in an even better position.

“Everyone is doing their job, but I still feel we are nowhere near our full potential. I think there is still plenty more to come.”