Kevin Jolly has claimed that safeguarding the future of the Mildenhall Fen Tigers has been at the forefront of his mind during the team building process for next year’s National League, writes Graham Clark.
While keen to assemble a side that will challenge on all fronts in 2016 by increasing his budget for riders, the Fen Tigers promoter has stressed that no deals have been dished out to put the West Row outfit in any financial danger.
Although content with the approach he is adopting, Jolly has hit out at several other promoters from clubs in the National League who he feels are making the task of putting a team together difficult by paying over the odds for riders.
“We run a team last year that was cost effective and one which I felt had the potential to do well, unfortunately it didn’t work out and I’m fully aware that I’ve got to pay a bit more to get the riders that I want,” Jolly said.
“I’ve no problem with riders wanting deals as they have to do the best for their career, but I’ve a problem with certain promoters that are paying way above the National League rate, and in cases double what we can pay.
“To me they are buying their way to success. Some of them are paying Premier League wages for National League riders, which is silly money.
“The team is being built to a budget, which is being helped by our sponsorship from KJM, and it is one that Mildenhall Speedway can afford.
“I could promise everything in the world to any rider but then the club would go bust in July and the last thing I want to be is the man who finished Mildenhall Speedway.”
With Jon Armstrong, Connor Coles and Connor Mountain already on board for next year, a deal was struck on Tuesday to bring former National League Riders Champion Dan Hasley back to the club for a sixth season.
Although suffering mixed fortunes during the 2015 campaign, the 27 year old is keen to show fans he still has what it takes to be the club’s number one.
“After the last year I wanted to get away from Mildenhall and I had my heart set on that,” said Halsey.
“I didn’t have the greatest year, my average is lower than it should have been while I was not as prepared as I should have been.
“Having Jon Armstrong back is definitely part of the reason I want to ride for Mildenhall again as I had one of my best seasons when he was here.
“I am stepping down as captain and Jon will take over that as will allow me to concentrate on my racing.
“Some supporters would have been happy to see someone else at number one but I want to put a line through last season and make things right to make the fans happy again.”