Woods determined to become a major figure following return to Fen Tigers

RARING TO GO: Sam Woods is excited by the prospect of riding for Mildenhall Fen Tigers. Picture: Derek Leader
RARING TO GO: Sam Woods is excited by the prospect of riding for Mildenhall Fen Tigers. Picture: Derek Leader

Sam Woods is eager to show the King’s Lynn Young Stars what they have missed out on by becoming a key player for the Mildenhall Fen Tigers.

Fans of the West Row outfit received their first glimpse of the 23-year-old alongside his new team-mates during the club’s annual Meet The Riders event on Saturday.

A deal was struck to bring the Boston based-rider to the club last month by promoter Kevin Jolly after his proposed switch to their Norfolk rivals fell through.

“It means so much for me to sign for the club, as basically it is where it all started as I used to ride for the Mildenhall Fen Tiger Cubs,” said Woods.

“I wanted to be here in the first place but another team got there first which was King’s Lynn. Things fell through though and Kevin (Jolly) wanted me here.

“Now that I’ve signed for Mildenhall it is a bit overwhelming that I’m going to be riding here week-in week-out, but it feels like where I belong.

"I couldn’t have ended up anywhere better really. Everything has worked out for the best."

Although having featured in the Rye House Raiders National League Fours-winning side last year, Woods ended the campaign on a lowly 3.00 average — a statistic he believes he can improve markedly on.

"From the Fours onwards last season things started clicking," he added.

"I don’t know if that was because I knew I had reliable machinery having blown three engines earlier in the year or whether it was everything just coming back to me.

"Ever since then I started enjoying my racing a lot more and started getting more points and I finished the season on a high. I just hope I can carry that on now.

"Looking back at last season I started off getting threes and fours and was just scraping by, but by the end of the season I was scoring sixes, sevens and eights. I think putting two points on my average is a realistic target, given how I finished last season."

While this year's National League has a much more open feel to it, Woods, who doubles up his speedway commitments working as a scaffolder, is confident that the Fen Tigers have all the ingredients to lift the title for the first time since 2012.

"I think we are going to be near the top, if not the top," said Woods.

"Looking at some teams, they have gone how Rye House did last year in going top heavy.

"Knowing the riders we have got and their capabilities, there is that right balance."

n Former fans’ favourite, and current Sheffield Tigers and Coventry Bees star Josh Bates was announced as the first guest rider at this year's Fen Fours on April 9, for which teams will be drawn at the club's Snail Racing event on March 18.