Stefan eyes Tigers return after being best of British

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NEWLY-CROWNED British Under-19 champion Stefan Nielsen has dropped his biggest hint to date of returning to the Mildenhall Fen Tigers in 2013.

Speaking after the Fen Tigers’ 60-30 National Trophy win at home to Buxton on Sunday, the 17-year-old revealed he would welcome another season in speedway’s third tier with the Suffolk side, with the possibility of doubling up at a Premier League side.

Since bagging his first-ever 18-point maximum during the Fen Tigers’ 50-40 win on the road to Rye House back in May, the Brandon-based teenager has gone from strength-to-strength, culminating in him being crowned British Under-19 champion at Sheffield on Thursday.

“I am hoping I will return to Mildenhall next year as their number one, along with doubling up in the Premier League somewhere,” said Nielsen.

“I am still learning things at National League level and I feel another season in it will benefit me.

“I don’t want to rush into making the full-time step-up into the Premier League just yet, as I have lots of years ahead of me in the sport.”

Thursday’s result at Owlerton clarified that the future looks to be a bright one for the level-headed teenager.

Despite making a slow start to the meeting, which saw him miss out on a direct spot in the final, the former Scunthorpe Saints rider kept his cool when it mattered to deliver the goods in the final when taking the crown ahead of Dudley Heathens’ Ashley Morris.

Nielsen was not the only Fen Tiger to reach the podium on the night, with Joe Jacobs in third.

“When the chequered flag came out I could not believe I had won,” added Nielsen. “It really felt great.

“I still don’t think it has fully sunk in just what I have achieved.

“I won’t be letting it get to my head as it is important that I work hard for the rest of the season.”

The Tigers had a successful weekend, to boost their chances of glory in two competitions.

On Saturday, they cruised through to the National League Knockout Cup final after a 50-44 win at Stoke saw them advance comfortably on aggregate.

Nielsen (17 points) and Lewis Blackbird (12) were in excellent form to dispose of the Potters, who they also beat in last year’s Knockout Cup final.

Team manager Rob Henry said: “We had fantastic backing on the night from our supporters, who made the trip from Suffolk which, as always, spurred the team on.”

Less than 24 hours later, Mildenhall moved within a point of the summit of the National Trophy table after a ruthless display against a severely-weakened Buxton Hitmen outfit.

Nielsen (15+2) and Blackbird (17) again led the way, while Dan Halsey (13+2) also got in on the act in their 60-30 success.

The Fen Tigers can move to the top of the National Trophy table should they record victory over current leaders Isle of Wight Islanders at Mildenhall Stadium on Sunday (4.30pm).

Last time the two teams clashed in the competition down at Smallbrook Stadium, the Islanders triumphed 55-39 over a depleted Fen Tigers side.