MATCH PREVIEW: Keen Sassek boosts Coventry for opener

Polish teenage sensation Michal Sassek jets in to the UK to take his place for Coventry in the grand opening Elite League match of the current era at Hearsall Common on Sunday (3rd April) at 2pm.

The 18-year-old, from Leszno in west central Poland, will fly from Poznan into Birmingham Airport late on Saturday evening. He will join his new teammates for Sundays mouth-watering clash with East Anglian giants Ipswich.

Sassek is the current world junior number two and is expected to be a leading scorer in British Elite League racing. His robust style, and razor fast starting ability, should see him challenge for a heat leader position at Coventry.

And, Coventry team manager Lee Marsh is predicting big things from Sassek, even comparing him to former club superstar Damian Wozny, also from Leszno. Wozny led Coventry to double success in 2006 and won the European Individual final in the same year.

In a blistering two year stay at Coventry, Wozny incredibly lost to an opponent just five times. On the occasion of his European final success, Wozny was mobbed at Coventry`s Polish club, in Springfield Rd, when he returned there that evening for post final celebrations.

Marsh said: “Michal is a brilliant rider and very, very focused, just like Damian. He is a winner with a real hunger for only the very best performance every time he goes on the track.

“It was not our original intention to track Michal tomorrow but he kept texting and emailing us from his Polish home almost begging to ride in our first Elite League match and in the end we had to relent and hand him his debut”.

Sassek will join a Coventry side bristling with home grown and international talent. Tomorrows Coventry`s team will be their strongest ever side that has ever taken to the track.

They will be led by the brilliant Andy Angell, the three times British champion and the most successful British rider of the past 10 years. Super fit, and in revitalized mood, Angell`s swashbuckling outside overtaking moves is sure to provide plenty of entertaining action at Hearsall Common this season.

Coventry's big winter signing, Andy Angell racing for Team GB at Hearsall Common in 2015. Photo by Mark Phillips.

Coventry’s big winter signing, Andy Angell racing for Team GB at Hearsall Common in 2015. Photo by Mark Phillips.

In contrast to Angell, Coventry’s home grown Great Britain star Myke Grimes brings different attributes to the track. He is one of the quickest gaters in the modern game and he is sure to have a high percentage of his race wins sealed by the first corner.

World number four, and top ranked Australian Bobby McMillan, selflessly forgoes individual glory in team racing. He works tirelessly for his teammates, often tucking in for all-important third places to secure heat advantages for his side.

Manchester based Chris Parish is expected to play a key role for Coventry this season. Parish came within one race of becoming British champion three years ago and his all-round talent will bag him a hatful of points in his first Elite League campaign.

Former British junior champion Jake Read, one of the most committed riders in the sport, is also handed his Coventry debut Sunday. Read has travelled from his Stockport home on very cold Wednesday evenings recently to train on the Coventry track.

Cov v Ipswich-web

Ipswich, who have been in the top tier Elite League for five years, will be tracking their strongest side and will present an extremely stern challenge to Coventry’s hopes of a season opening home win.

Australian Cody Chadwick, British star Josh Brooke and firebrand Charlie Rumbold lead a star studded Suffolk side. Chadwick’s races with fellow Aussie McMillan will be a key feature of the match.

With the first fine weather of the year forecast for Coventry, with the latest forecast showing 17c for the 2pm start time, the Coventry club are anticipating a bumper crowd to welcome in the new Elite League era at the club. Admission is free.

To help offset the high cost of Elite League racing, and with no charge for admission, the Coventry club are urging all spectators to buy a match programme on Sunday and buy raffle tickets to help with costs. Refreshments will also be available.

Work has been progressing all week at Hearsall Common to ensure the track, surrounds and facilities are all in pristine condition. New changing rooms will be available, toilets have been hired-in and the clubs new water supply is all ready to go.

Team manager Marsh has named an 11 rider squad for the match and will announce his rider order shortly before the start.

Coventry squad:

Adam Watson, Dan Drewett, Jake Read, Ben Higham, Andy Angell, Myke Grimes, Michal Sassek, Mason Phillips, Bobby McMillan, Mike Baldock and Chris Parish.

Coventry also take on Ipswich in a supporting junior match at 3.45pm and there are also junior races from 12:30pm.

Coventry continue to stage their very popular “Clubnight” practice sessions every Wednesday night, from 6pm. The sessions are open to youngsters keen to have a go at the fast and exciting sport of Cycle Speedway. Bikes and safety equipment are available free of charge to first time newcomers.

For more information on Coventry Cycle Speedway club, please go to: