Buster and Allitt to take charge as Lyon misses King’s Lynn Stars’ season opener with Eastbourne
Promoter Buster Chapman and Young Stars team boss Dale Allitt will be in charge tonight as King's Lynn look to get their 2012 Elite League campaign off to a flying start at the Norfolk Arena.
Stars' team boss Rob Lyon will miss his side's meeting as they welcome last season's runners-up Eastbourne Eagles to town.
Even though the south coast outfit finished above his team in 2011, Lyon insists his charges can get the better of this evening's visitors and start their season with a victory.
The Lynn team boss said: 'Eastbourne are obviously a good team, but I believe we are better, especially around our home track.
'I didn't realise I'd be missing our first two meetings because the fixtures didn't come out until January, but I don't think it is a major problem. Dale, our junior team manager, will step in with Buster, who will help him for both of those matches.
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'Dale knows the rulebook, he knows the score, and with Buster being alongside him I'm sure he'll be fine. I know I'm leaving it in very capable hands so I've got no issues with missing it.
'The lads have been practising hard and we've been out together and had a good laugh and that's enough for the boys to get to know each other. It takes a while for a team to gel, but I'm confident we can get off to a good start.'
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The Sussex outfit have retained six riders from last campaign, with only Russian Dennis Gizatulin coming in to replace Bjarne Pedersen.
Finnish number one Joonas Kylmakorpi, Lewis Bridger and son of King's Lynn legend Henka Gustafsson, Simon, provide solid back-up for Trevor Geer's men.
The Eagles have already made a promising start to their league campaign by picking up all three points with a home 55-40 victory over Belle Vue on Saturday.
Lyon said: 'The league looks fairly even this season in my eyes. There's no one team that stands out that you would say 'they're the boys to watch'.
'There's quite a few teams out there that are pretty evenly matched. I think there's some different teams. Some with strength in depth and others with out-and-out top heat leaders who are weaker at the bottom.
'It'll be down to consistency, having a bit of luck along the way, getting no major injuries and keeping a happy camp. That's what will win meetings.
'I've seen what I expected from our guys so far. It's a solid outfit and the lads are capable of doing a job for us and putting in a good performance as a team. There's no question if they all perform to their ability and more – which one or two of them will do – then there's no reason we can't have another good season.
'You have to believe in what you've got. I do have quite a strong feeling that if we can get off to a good start then the team will be quite hard to beat.'
Mads Korneliussen – who has replaced departed Olly Allen as skipper – is looking forward to tapes up. The Dane said: 'It's nice to be back and you're always excited – and a bit nervous – at this time of the year about how it's going to turn out.
'I'm looking forward to facing Eastbourne and it's going to be tough, but it'll be nice to get out and have a proper meeting. We're all fairly confident because this is a track we enjoy. It's an awesome race track and we've had a few days of practising so we feel good out here.
'However, everyone looks fast when they're out there on their own and it's a different matter when there's three other riders at the gate.'
Maciej 'Magic' Janowski will make his hotly-awaited Stars' debut while Michael Palm Toft will ride at number seven instead of Filip Sitera. Racing begins at 7.45pm.
1 Niels-K Iversen, 2 Daniel Nermark, 3 Maciej Janowski, 4 Kevin Wolbert, 5 Mads Korneliussen, 6 David Howe, 7 Michael Palm Toft.
1 Joonas Kylmakorpi, 2 Lukas Dryml, 3 Simon Gustafsson, 4 Cameron Woodward, 5 Lewis Bridger, 6 Denis Gizatullin, 7 Timo Lahti.