Trigger to consider short-term signing Katajisto for next year
Plymouth Devils’ team boss Lee Trigger insists he wants to keep new signing Kalle Katajisto in the city speedway side next season.
Katajisto, nominally an Edinburgh rider, put pen to paper for the Premier League outfit yesterday. The Finn, 22, is standing in for injured captain Cory Gathercole, who suffered shoulder and knee injuries riding for Plymouth.
Gathercole is resigned to spending the rest of the season on the sidelines, rather than risk a further injury which could mean an operation.
Trigger wants Gathercole to return when he is fit next year – but he has also pencilled in Katajisto for a possible spot in 2014, when he may become available.
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The Finn, who had opted not to race in the UK this year because of a lack of racing equipment, has changed his mind after gaining new sponsorship .
He will rides for the Devils on Friday, August 16 when they travel to old rivals Scunthorpe Scorpions.
Trigger, however, would like to add him to his squad on a longer-term basis.
He said: “Kalle didn’t want to ride in England this season because he didn’t have up to date equipment and he didn’t have a van. Now, however, he’s got sponsors, so he decided to join us.
“I think Kalle can come over here and do a job for us. He’s an Edinburgh asset, but I would like him to come to Plymouth next season. It would be a case, however, of hoping that Edinburgh didn’t want him, because of course they would have priority over us.”
Meanwhile, former Devil Hynke Stichauer’s signing has ended any uncertainty about recent Danish signing Simon Nielsen’s fitness. Nielsen, riding at reserve, made a favourable impact until he dislocated a shoulder.
Attempts to put the problem right appeared to have worked, but Trigger said the club could no longer take a risk with the Dane’s fitness. He said: “I feel for Simon, but he might have been all right, but he might also have been injured again.
“The chance to sign Hynek came up and if I’d left it and Simon had been injured, that chance might not have come up again.”
Czech rider Stichauer, 26, made nine appearances for Devils in 2011 and averaged 4.70.
Devils have been riddled with injury problems since May. Number one Ty Proctor was injured while riding against Edinburgh and sidelined for the rest of the season. “When Kalle joins us at Scunthorpe, we should be able to field a proper Plymouth team for the first time since May, when Ty was injured,” said Trigger.
Devils are at Somerset Rebels in the Premier League tonight (7.30pm), with the return at the St Boniface Arena tomorrow (7.15pm).
Plymouth will use rider replacment for Gathercole while Stichauer comes into the main body of the team and Todd Kurtz drops down to reserve.
Rebels team manager Garry May said: “We have to keep our focus on the job in hand, which is to ensure we pick up all three points from Friday’s home match, the aim being to go to the St Boniface Arena to add further league points to our tally towards our push for those all-important play-offs.”
Rebels: Doyle, Newman, Morris, Davies, Grajczonek, Stefan Nielsen, Lambert.
Devils: Bech, rider replacement (Gathercole), Jensen, Stichauer, Lemon, Kurtz, Anderson.