Smith relishes King’s Lynn return
King's Lynn old boy Kozza Smith aims to show the Stars what they are missing in tonight's Elite League tussle against Belle Vue at the Norfolk Arena (7.45pm).
The doubling up Aussie notched paid 13 for the Aces on his first return to Saddlebow earlier in the season before being edged out of top spot in last week's Ashley Jones memorial meeting. Smith looked a class apart in the qualifiers but lost an epic final to Stars' rival Sam Masters at his spiritual speedway home.
'I just love coming back to Lynn,' he said. 'Not just the track but the fans, who always give me a great reception. That is a big part of the reason why I enjoy it. It's not the same coming out of the away pits but I am still at King's Lynn, so that is good enough for me.
'Of course it was tough in the winter when the club decided it wanted to go into the Elite. I know there was talk about maybe coming back and it was said at the time they perhaps wanted me to have at least a year away just to push on, try somewhere else, and get some more experience.
'Right now, that is working and who knows what the future holds. You just don't know in speedway. I feel like King's Lynn is my second home and hopefully there is an opportunity. I'm just focusing on this season. I want to finish on a high and then I can concentrate on what move I want to make in the winter.'
Smith turned the tables on Masters in the Pride of Anglia individual at Ipswich to underline his impressive 2011 form since a switch to Premier League Berwick.
'I've taken a new approach and a new way of looking at it and at the moment it seems to be working so I just need to keep that going,' he said. 'I am using my head a bit more and focusing on the little things that are important. I'm happy with how things are going.
- 1 'God's waiting room' - Norfolk town is country's pensioner hotspot
- 2 Former vicarage set in one acre is up for sale - and it needs some TLC
- 3 Thetford homes left with 'significant' damage following blaze
- 4 Star-studded line-up announced for free Norfolk festival
- 5 World record? 24 ducklings spotted waddling through Norfolk village
- 6 George Ezra to host album launch show in Norwich
- 7 RAF flypast to pass through Norfolk's skies
- 8 Norfolk's 100 Jubilee street parties revealed
- 9 Interactive and immersive dinosaur attraction opening in Norfolk this month
- 10 Norfolk-born entrepreneur is second richest person in country
'Berwick's track is a bit like King's Lynn in terms of the shape. It's a bit rough in places, but it's a well-run club. I get along with everyone and I feel the crowd are slowly taking to me up there. I'm just enjoying my speedway this season. It's a lot of travelling, as I'm still based 20 minutes from King's Lynn, so I don't have a home meeting.'
Smith is poised for a busy night with Belle Vue operating rider replacement in the injury absence of Patrick Hougaard. The Dane may need surgery after damaging his left hand in a Polish racing crash, but Smith looked comfortable in familiar surroundings during last week's thrilling joust with Masters.
'I watched the race on YouTube and I love being involved in those type of races. It's fun and the crowd really get into it,' he said. 'The track just went away a little bit from how it had been earlier on in the meeting. You could pass anywhere on the track, outside or inside, so it was difficult to know where to ride. We chopped and changed and he just got me on the drag to the line.'
• Meeting Information: Gates open at 6:30pm, parade at 7:30pm, 1st race at 7:45pm
• Admission Prices: Adults �15, Concessions (Over 65 years, Disabled and Student) �12, Junior (12-15 years) �5, Children 11 years and Under Free.
• Stars: 1 Kenneth Bjerre 9.49 (DEN), 2 Sam Masters 4.03 (AUS), 3 Olly Allen (C) 5.58 (GB), 4 Mads Korneliussen 6.61 (DEN), 5 Niels Iversen 7.81 (DEN), 6 Lasse Bjerre 3.48 (DEN), 7 Fillip Sitera 3.00 (CZ).
• Aces: 1 Chris Harris 8.44 (GB), 2 Dawid Stachyra 4.19 (POL), 3 Charlie Gjedde 6.49 (DEN), 4 Patrick Hougaard 6.80 R/R, 5 Rory Schlein 7.64 (AUS), 6 Ricky Kling 3.73 (SWE), 7 Kozza Smith 3.93 (AUS).
• King's Lynn will travel to Peterborough in a re-arranged Elite League fixture on Monday, June 27 (7.30pm).