Ulrich Ostergaard wants to sample title glory with Panthers again – and this time he is determined to play a starring role.
The Danish veteran was a member of the city club’s Elite League-winning side of 2006 when they famously snatched Grand Final victory against Reading in the most dramatic finish to a season of all-time.
Ostergaard could only contribute four points across the two legs of that success which was secured by an unforgettable 5-1 in a last-heat decider from club heroes Ryan Sullivan and Hans Andersen.
Now, 12 years on, Panthers are chasing another title triumph as they face regular rivals Lakeside in the SGB Championship play-off semi-finals this weekend.
“No one will ever forget what happened in 2006, but it is a long time ago now and we really want to win the title again,” said Ostergaard.
“The play-offs are the really important meetings and we know we have to perform home and away this weekend.
“It’s been such a good season despite all the injuries we’ve had and we want to finish it with the trophy.
“Personally it’s important for me to have the chance to ride in a Grand Final again because I wasn’t riding well at the end of 2006.
“I started that season really well, but then had a bad crash at Poole when getting wiped out and I never really got going again.
“I often think about what ‘Sully’ and Hans did in that heat 15 and it would be brilliant if I could do something similar this season.”
A season rudely interrupted by a spill is a familiar story for Ostergaard who is also battling back to full fitness and top form after missing two months of the current campaign.
The 37 year-old suffered five broken ribs in a summer smash at the East of England Arena and admits his confidence, as well as his body, took a big hit.
But he is gradually getting back in the groove and contributed 20 points across the club’s three meetings against Lakeside last weekend.
He added: “Things are getting better for me meeting by meeting and I enjoyed last weekend. I’m starting to score a few points again and I’m feeling more comfortable on the bike, but I want to do so much more for the team.
“I should be winning races home and away, but it is tough for a rider to be out for two months and the fact that all the other guys have been riding regularly during that time only makes it harder when you do come back.
“I’ve seen a lot of people have been slagging me off on social media, but I wouldn’t have bothered coming back if I didn’t think I could still do the job and hopefully we can end the season with a big bang.”