BIG-SCORING heat leader Stefan Nielsen is calling on his team-mates to rise to the occasion and help the Mildenhall Fen Tigers take a giant step towards retaining the National League Knockout Cup.
The Tigers will take on the Dudley Heathens at West Row in the opening leg of this year’s National League Knockout Cup final on Sunday as they bid to make it back-to-back successes in the competition following their 103-83 win over the Stoke Potters 12 months ago.
Having help turned Mildenhall Stadium into a fortress this season, Nielsen is now hoping he and his team-mates can work their magic on the track when it matters and build up a healthy advantage to take to Monmore Green for the second leg later this month.
“It is going to be a great meeting and I am really looking forward to it,” said the Brandon-based rider.
“Last time they were down here they were a bit under strength and last time we went up to there place we didn’t do as well as we should.
“It is great to get to race against them this late on in the season. Hopefully the two boys at reserve will be up to the task, if not we have a solid enough one to five who will just have to ride even better.”
With the Heathens team boasting a number of riders doubling up their National League rides with ones in the Premier League, the 17-year-old feels it is hard to pinpoint what riders they will need to keep the biggest check on.
“Obviously Tom Perry and Ashley Morris have had fantastic seasons, but looking down their list they are strong throughout,” said Nielsen.
“We need to make sure we give it 110 per cent. It is going to be tough for us but ideally we would like to come away with a lead of between 12 and 15 points for the return fixture.”
Changes are set to be made to the Fen Tigers line-up for Sunday’s clash. Rye House Raiders star Jason Garrity will once again deputise at number one for the injured Cameron Heeps, while temporary reserve signing Gareth Isherwood will make way for returning Josh Bates who is now fully fit after recovering from a broken arm.
n The second leg of the Tigers’ postponed National League play-off semi-final at the Isle of Wight Islanders will take place across the Solent on Tuesday (7.30pm) with the West Row outfit defending a 22-point lead.