Bandits sign Czech international Tomicek

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BERWICK Bandits have finalised their line-up for the 2012 season with the signing of Czech Republic international Lubos Tomicek. The 26-year-old will make his debut this weekend against Glasgow Tigers.

Tomicek, who will start at No7 on an average of 4.44, will make his Berwick bow at Shielfield Park this Saturday night when Glasgow are the visitors in the League Cup. Bandits are also hoping No1 Ricky Ashworth will be fit to return.

Injuries to Kozza Smith and Brenton Barnfield ruled both riders out of action and out of the Bandits team before the season started, while young German Michael Hertrich came and went without turning a wheel in anger for the Borderers. Consequently, for the last two weeks Bandits boss Ian Rae has been ringing round the World for a full-time replacement.

“We tried a phonebook full of contacts,” said Rae, “but we were getting no, after no, after no coming back and we were beginning to wonder just where our number seven would come from, then out of the blue we got an unexpected success.

“Right back at the start of our search we actually spoke to Lubos first of all, but circumstances were not right and we had to search elsewhere. But never say never and we’ve got our man and welcome Lubos with open arms.

“We have a great deal of faith in Czech riders up here as in a dozen years. No Czech has ever let us down and we are hoping for good things from Lubos too.”

Tomicek has been something of a journeyman rider over the years, representing Oxford, Newcastle, Lakeside, Belle Vue, Somerset and Stoke in his nine years in the UK. Last season he rode for four different clubs – Newcastle, Lakeside, Redcar and Wolverhampton.

The Prague-born racer represents the Czech Republic on an international scene and comes from a speedway family. His grandfather and father also were riders with high records.