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By GAVIN CANEY, Sports Reporter
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Veteran Joe Screen has ridden thousands of races but admits even he is surprised to be making his home debut for King’s Lynn Stars tonight.
The popular 39-year-old remains one of the sport’s most iconic characters after more than two decades of racing in Britain for a host of clubs, mainly Belle Vue.
Even though he has excelled in the Premier League with Glasgow, currently topping the division’s averages, the former British international hasn’t ridden regularly in the country’s top tier since 2010, when he left Wolverhampton – the team he faces at the Norfolk Arena tonight.
“I’ve been enjoying myself in the Premier League because there’s more meetings,” he said.
“But doubling-up seems to be helping a lot of the riders and I only race in England now so I was making noises on Twitter about signing for someone. I wanted more meetings.
“I wasn’t getting any phone calls from Elite League clubs though and I’ll admit I was pretty surprised. There are so many riders doubling-up now, I’m experienced and I’ve been riding well for Glasgow.
“Jonathan Chapman was the first person to call and in five or 10 minutes it was sorted.
“I’ve always got on well with Buster too so that helped. He had no problem with me practising at Lynn and we’ve always kept in contact but there were a couple of clubs I never thought I’d ride for – Lynn was definitely one of them.”
Screen, who will be joined by Mateusz Szczepaniak in making his home bow tonight, scored six points, paid eight, on his debut for the Stars as Rob Lyon’s charges picked up their first away victory of the campaign at Belle Vue on May 2. They haven’t ridden since.
Stars will be taking to their own track for the first time since April 6 after their last three home fixtures were postponed due to wet weather.
Wolverhampton beat Lynn 51-41 at their Monmore Green track last month but have endured a miserable spell of their own following the news that heat leader Tai Woffinden broke his scaphoid during the Gary Peterson Memorial meeting last Monday.
Wolves boss Peter Adams was forced to use rider/replacement for Woffinden during his team’s 54-39 home defeat to Poole in the Elite League Knockout Cup on Monday.
Adams failed with an audacious bid to lure former Stars’ rider and three-time world champion Nicki Pedersen back to the club, while Robert Miskowiak will make his Wolves debut as a replacement for the injured Nicolai Klindt.
Collection buckets will be at the exits for anyone wishing to make a donation to a trust for the family of Lee Richardson, the Lakeside captain who died following a crash in a Polish league meeting earlier this month.
King’s Lynn: 1 Niels-Kristian Iversen, 2 Joe Screen, 3 Maciej Janowski, 4 Daniel Nermark, 5 Mads Korneliussen, 6 Mateusz Szczepaniak, 7 Kevin Wolbert
Wolverhampton: 1 Freddie Lindgren, 2 Robert Miskowiak, 3 Ty Proctor, 4 Pontus Aspegren, 5 Lukasz Sowka, 6 Ricky Wells.
Gates open at 6.30pm, racing starts at 7.30pm.