Simon Lambert has today (December 2) been handed a Peterborough Panthers return with strict instructions not to slip back into a reserve berth.
The Lincolnshire lad was the club’s star performer in 2015 when delivering a series of high-scoring displays from the bottom of the order.
He significantly boosted a 3.73 starting average to a final figure of 5.19 which would almost certainly have been even higher had it not been for a broken shoulder blade.
Lambert (26) had a month-long lay-off before returning to action before the injury had fully healed to help the club into the semi-finals of the Premier League play-offs.
He ended last term in the main body of the side and will begin the new campaign in the same place – and that’s exactly where club chief Ged Rathbone wants him to stay.
Rathbone said: “There was no way we could possibly ignore Simon after the performances he produced while having the best season of his career in 2015.
“He was absolutely fantastic last year when only a bad injury prevented him from being even more successful.
“Despite that injury, he still showed enough to suggest he can become a solid second string in the Premier League and that should be the least he achieves in 2016.
“I want him to continue to push and challenge to become a heat leader. I don’t want to see him back at reserve.”
Lambert is the sixth confirmed member of the city side for next season. He joins captain Ulrich Ostergaard (7.87) and two other Danish riders, Michael Palm Toft (5.96) and Emil Grondal (5.12), in returning.
Panthers have also signed highly-rated Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen (6.91) and drafted in British reserve Tom Perry (3.00).
Club chiefs now have 8.45 of their 42.50 team-building points remaining to recruit their final rider.