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King's Lynn Stars line-up 2012. Top row (from left) David Howe, Michael Palm Toft, Daniel Nermark, captain Mads Korneliussen, Dakota North, Maciej Janowski, Niels-Kristian Iversen. Front (L) Kevin Wolbert and Filip Sitera. Picture: Ian Burt
By GAVIN CANEY, Sports Reporter
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Laid-back Dane Mads Korneliussen admits he will be copying former captain Olly Allen’s approach as he looks to skipper the King’s Lynn Stars to success this season.
Rob Lyon has picked the Danish rider to captain his side this campaign after Allen decided to join fierce rivals Peterborough Panthers.
Korneliussen – speaking at the Norfolk Arena last night as he joined his team-mates at the club’s press and practice day – insists he is desperate to do well for Lyon, who he describes as “one of the best managers” he has ridden for.
The smiling 28-year-old said: “I am really proud to be captain so hopefully I won’t get booed out.
“I’ll be pretty much like I normally am I suppose – I’m just pretty laid back. I’ve got time in between my races to speak to the other guys which is good because I can’t sit and focus too much as when I do I usually mess up.
“It means I’ve got to get up and chat with all the boys to see if they’re happy and make sure Buster is doing what he wants to the track.
“I just need to try and make everyone feel at home like Olly (Allen) did last year.
“He made me feel at home here and it was tremendous. We’ve got some new riders coming in and hopefully I can do that and make everyone gel.
“Olly’s pretty laid back and he was just going about his business and if there was a problem you went to him and he took care of it and he didn’t mess about.”
Korneliussen was quick to re-sign for the Stars in the close season after helping the Norfolk outfit to third in their first campaign back in British speedway’s top flight.
And as he welcomes a host of new stars to the Norfolk Arena pit area, including World Under-21 champion Maciej ‘Magic’ Janowski, the likeable rider says he hopes to inspire his team – starting in their first meeting on Wednesday against Eastbourne Eagles.
Korneliussen said: “Yesterday I think everyone got to know what I’m like as we played football and I lost all the skin on my backside when we were playing because I was doing slide tackles.
“I am laid back but once sport starts I don’t want to lose anything. I want to win at all costs and hopefully that can gee the guys up too.
“I’ll be trying to motivate the lads but I’m similar to Rob (Lyon) with my approach in a sense.
“It’s brilliant to ride for him and I knew that from the start because the first time I was here he just told me ‘go out and enjoy it’.
“He didn’t say ‘you must win this and you must do that’ he just always tells us ‘go and enjoy it because when you do that’s when you get your results’ and I agree with that.”
Lyon – who will mentor former Stars’ rider Kenneth Bjerre in the Speedway Grand Prix series this season – has similar praise for his new skipper who he believes was the only man for the job.
The Lynn team boss said: “Mads will be a good skipper. He’ll drive the boys on and I’m sure he’ll be revved up to make sure they all pull their weight and focus at the job in hand.
“He’s natural captain material. Having worked with him last year it’s pretty clear from my point of view that he’s a strong character and personality and someone that the riders can relate to. He can motivate the boys.
“I think it will be good for him and I’d say he’s the obvious choice from my point of view given what we’re looking at and I think it’ll work very well for us.”