Peter Schroeck has described Tuesday’s Knockout Cup Semi Final first leg against Poole Pirates as the Monarch Cheetahs’ biggest fixture since the club was spectacularly reborn.
Cheetahs advanced to the last four of the competition after defeating Edinburgh Monarchs over two legs in April to setup a tie with defending champions Poole Pirates.
Pirates have won the Championship KO Cup both times since dropping down from the Premiership two seasons ago. But Schroeck said he and his riders are determined to spring a surprise and go one step closer to landing Cheetahs’ first piece of team silverware in 18 years.
Club bosses are forecasting a bumper half-term crowd as families take advantage of Oxford Speedway’s U16s go free offer which applies to all speedway fixtures at Oxford Stadium this year.
“This is a huge fixture for us,” said Schroeck. “We’ve not been this close to reaching a major final since reopening our doors just over a year ago, so we’re looking to thrive under the pressure.
“Poole are such a strong team at this level and their quality cannot be questioned. We’ve got to ensure we win the arm-wrestle and pick up those crucial second and third places during times in both legs when the going could get tough.
“As I’ve mentioned previously, I believe we are a far stronger team physically and mentally since we last raced Poole. But this is where the talking ends are we prove our quality on track following an encouraging month of performances.”
Cheetahs remain without reserve Luke Killeen who is out with injury. New WSRA Chargers recruit Ryan Kinsley will continue to fill the void at reserve.
Otherwise, the hosts will be led by in-form Sam Masters with Lewis Kerr, Scott Nicholls, Cameron Heeps and Jordan Jenkins in the main body of the team. Henry Atkins races at reserve.
“It’s a blow to lose Luke temporarily, but Ryan is a capable rider at this level and we’re pleased to welcome him into the squad as cover,” said Schroeck. “The boys have really dialled into the track in the last month which gives me the confidence that we can go out and do a proper job.
“The forecast is looking perfect, so I urge everyone with availability to get trackside and cheer the boys on. The support from the terraces means everything to the team.”
Tickets for the Monarch Cheetahs’ KO Cup Semi Final, first leg, tie against Poole Pirates are on sale now and can be purchased by clicking here. Adults are priced £20 (£22 on the day) and ALL U16s go free.
Oxford Speedway Pass holders are reminded the Oxford Speedway Pass is NOT valid for this fixture and a ticket must be purchased to gain entry.
Monarch Cheetahs: Sam Masters, Cameron Heeps, Lewis Kerr, Jordan Jenkins, Scott Nicholls, Henry Atkins, Ryan Kinsley.
Poole: Steve Worrall, Anders Rowe, Ben Cook, Zach Cook, Richard Lawson (TBC), Kyle Newman, Adam Roynon.