Stars' new boys set for League Cup opener

New King's Lynn Stars skipper Josh Pickering, who leads the team against Peterborough in the League Cup

New King's Lynn Stars Josh Pickering, who leads the team out against Ipswich in their opening League Cup tie - Credit: Ian Burt

King's Lynn launch their League Cup campaign with a home meeting against rivals Ipswich on Thursday night (7.30pm).

They hand a full debut to new skipper Josh Pickering and youngster Jack Thomas, while Richie Worrall launches his second spell at the club.

Danish star Niels-Kristian Iversen is also back as short-term cover for fellow countryman Peter Kildemand, who won’t appear until May at the earliest.

Stars boss Alex Brady said: “I’m over the moon to welcome Josh Pickering, Jack Thomas and Richie Worrall to the club for 2022.

“None of these three will need any introduction, but Josh was the one person I was desperate to sign over the winter and headed every list of team permutations for us, and I’m delighted that he’s also agreed to be our captain for 2022.

"Jack is obviously very local to us, and is desperate to be successful for King’s Lynn. Richie has been with us previously and had a great year, and returns as an even better rider, and my belief is that he is the best reserve in this league by some distance.”

Ipswich include former Lynn favourite Erik Riss, who made the switch to Suffolk during the winter after both Brady and the rider agreed a change of club would do him good for a year.

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And in Jason Doyle they have the 2017 world champion who Brady admits spoke to Lynn during the winter before deciding to join the Witches.

“I’m looking forward to this one,” said Brady. “It’s a great meeting for us to have to start our home season.”

His opposite number, Ritchie Hawkins, whose team were beaten by Peterborough in their first cup outing, said: "Looking at the group, I’d say we probably need to win at King’s Lynn now, and then win our two home meetings. I’ve always thought you’ll need to win three out of four to win the group.

“I think we saw enough at Peterborough on Monday to know that we’ll be capable of going to King’s Lynn and winning, and that will be focus for all the boys."

King's Lynn: Niels-Kristian Iversen, Thomas Jorgensen, Josh Pickering, Lewi Kerr, Richard Lawson, Richie Worrall, Jack Thomas.

Ipswich: Jason Doyle, Erik Riss, Troy Batchelor, Cameron Heeps, Danny King, Paul Starke, Anders Rowe.