Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Double Delight for Bears Boss Duffill; Speedway

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Double Delight for Bears Boss Duffill; Speedway

Article excerpt

Byline: MARTIN NEAL

NEW signing Michael Rajkowski makes his Redcar Bears debut tonight - but boss Jitendra Duffill is just as happy to have Carl Wilkinson in a reserve spot.

Polish ace Rajkowski, 27, won the Premier League with Glasgow last season, and has been drafted in for a delayed start to the season after being snapped up to replace the retired Mark Jones.

He makes his Practical Car and Van Rental Bears bow in this evening's home clash with Ipswich Witches (7.30pm start).

His average means he goes into the main body of the team with the all-action Wilkinson dropping to reserve.

Wilkinson endured a sticky start to his spell at South Tees Motorsports Park after missing much of the 2011 campaign due to a double break of his left leg which took longer than expected to heal. But the 31-yearold British Semi-finalist has hit some fine form since and can give the Bears a potent sting in their tail, especially as he can now take up to seven rides a meeting.

"It's good to have Carl at reserve," said team manager Duffill, "it will keep a few of the lads on their toes.

"They know now that if they're not performing, Carl can come in and take one of their rides.

"They key to a successful side is to have strength at reserve - it worked for Glasgow when they won the title last year.

"We have struggled at reserve over the past couple of years, but having Carl there is a real boost."

With Lee Smart struggling badly to make any sort of impact during his month-long stay on Teesside, extra pressure was put on the shoulders of fellow reserve Max Dilger.

"Carl's move to reserve means that Max won't be pressured into scoring points," said Duffill, "but at the same time he can't relax either otherwise Carl will take one of his rides.

"Carl had a slow start because his machinery wasn't there when he first joined us and he was still getting dialled into the new silencers.

"But his head was always in the right place, which is so important in speedway. …

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