CARL PRIDE AS PANTHERS MOVE UP

Thursday February 14, 2019
PETERBOROUGH boss Carl Johnson has spoken of his pride at leading his local club into the Premiership.

Johnson, who made occasional appearances as a rider for Panthers’ senior side in 1994, took over as team boss midway through the 2014 season and was in charge for much of a successful period at Championship level.

Top-flight racing returns to the East of England Arena in April after five years in the second tier, and Johnson says that step up was a major factor in his decision to remain with the club.

And he knows supporters will be dreaming of a return to the glory days of their Elite League title wins in 1999 and 2006, both of which were achieved in dramatic circumstances.

Johnson said: “I’ve always said we have the best supporters, and obviously for me it helps to be local.

“In many ways I’m a supporter myself, I understand what we need as a club and where we need to go.

“I spent a lot of time with speedway over the last few years. We used to do two home and two away in the Championship, which for me was meaning time off work and it was a big commitment with a lot of travelling, and I made the decision to stand down.

“But when it was announced that the club would be taken over with the potential to go into the top league, I sat down with my partner to ask what she thought.

“She said she thought I deserved to have a go, after all the effort that had been put in over the last four or five years, and this is now a chance to go up and test ourselves against the best teams in the country.

“That was what swung my mind, and now it’s an opportunity to continue the work of those years. We’ve won three trophies in the last two seasons, which not many clubs can say.

“The new season is a very exciting prospect, although at the moment everything is really busy, with sorting out sizes, logos and everything else that goes into the preparations!
“But I’m really looking forward to it. When you look at the team we’ve got it makes it all worthwhile and fingers crossed it will be a fantastic season for everyone.

“The way I do things won’t change just because we’ve gone up to the Premiership, and I want the supporters to have a really good season back in the top league this year.”

*PANTHERS will be represented throughout the weekend at the major Motorsports With Attitude show at the East of England Arena. The event runs from 9am until 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday and showcases a huge variety of UK oval racing.

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