Smith looking forward to making Bandits return

Kozza Smith of Berwick Bandits.
Kozza Smith of Berwick Bandits.
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KOZZA Smith is relishing the prospect of returning to Berwick next season and is keen to make up for lost time after missing the whole of 2012 through injury.

The popular Aussie rode with the Bandits in 2011, and was earmarked for a return last year when he cruelly broke his thigh whilst riding in the Australian National Championships last January.

He missed the whole of the campaign and now admits he is desparate to get back to the hustle and bustle of British league racing again.

“The Bandits were good to me in 2011,” he said. “It is a great club to ride for and if there is a problem they try help make you feel very welcome.

“They stayed loyal to me even with having a season out and offered me a team spot for 2013 so I jumped at it. It’s a long drive each week for home meetings but there is a great fan base and that makes it all worthwhile.”

Smith, who will also double up with King’s Lynn in the Elite League, where he will line up with former Berwick team-mate Sebastian Alden at reserve, is in for a busy year, but he says that’s just the way he likes it.

“I’m a speedway rider and I just love racing my bikes,” he said, “so having to take time out because of injury is a pain.

“But if you are a speedway rider you have to accept that injury is part of the game and you have to live with it.

“My accident shouldn’t have happened, but again, it’s part of speedway.”

Smith is now well on the road to recovery and is due to have the metal rod from his leg removed sometime over the next few weeks.

He has already been back riding, competing in his State and National Championships, but he admits it was with mixed success.

He won his State title but in the ‘nationals’ things just didn’t go according to plan.

“Now I’m just waiting to have the rod removed from my femur and then I can concentrate on getting myself ready for racing in England this summer.

“Having the rod taken out will give me peace of mind, because knowing it is there means you are always thinking about it.”

Smith says that on his return it will probably take him time to settle into British racing again.

“I have set myself some goals,” he said, “but I am keeping them to myself at the moment.”

“The Berwick team looks good. There is strength throughout the whole side, so lets just hope that everyone can stay injury free because if that’s the case I’m sure we could be in the play-offs at the end of the season.”

Meanwhile, GB international and track expert, Chris Harris is the latest name to be added to the list of riders for the BEN Bonanza meeting, which will launch the new season at Shielfield on March 9.

Harris, who is a former GP rider and one-time track record holder at Shielfield, has been a regular visitor to the Borders in recent years and is a previous winner of the Bordernapolis individual.