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Nicholls set for Team GB return

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Belle Vue Aces skipper Scott Nicholls has made himself available for selection for the Team Great Britain squad this season.

Nicholls, a seven time British Champion, hasn’t featured for the national side for three years, but following positive talks with manager Alun Rossiter he is back in the running.

Another bonus for Team GB, and for Nicholls, is that they’ve been seeded direct to the World Cup Final, which this year will take place at the Aces new home; The National Speedway Stadium in Manchester.

From the British Speedway website, Nicholls said: “It’s no secret that in the past I was a little disillusioned with the way things were going, and my own personal issues were well documented at the time.

“It’s not that I didn’t want to ride for Great Britain, and I guess it was a slightly political stance, but I didn’t agree with the way things were being done.

“I feel that having Buster (Chapman) in charge as BSPA chairman is a very constructive move. He’s a very strong character and also a stubborn person – but he will listen, and I truly believe he’s got the interests of the sport at heart.

“I’m also pleased to see Colin Pratt back more involved again on the Management Committee. I’ve always got on very well with Colin and have a lot of respect for him, and it’s those things which have made the decision easier.

“For me it’s not just about trying to achieve a gold medal right now, although that would be lovely to do, and this season is our best chance for a number of years – we know how good we are on home soil, even though it’s a brand-new track which might take away some of the advantage.

“But it’s also about the future. I’m pleased with what they’re trying to do and the people who they have on board, and I feel the future looks much more positive.

“I’ve always said I’d like to offer my services with any help if they felt it would be of any benefit, I would like to help the younger lads come through and really put British Speedway back on the map where it should be.

“It’s fantastic that we have a British World Champion, but other than that we haven’t really delivered what we did back in the 1980s, so it would be nice to try to get that interest and success back.

“I’ve had a good chat with Rosco and I’m not taking it as a given that I’m just going to be picked for the World Cup Final, because that will be a case of who’s performing at the time.

“I’m confident that I will be doing a good enough job to be in there, but if I’m not then I’ll be wishing all the boys success and be cheering them on to win.”

Rossiter added: “What’s happened in the past really doesn’t interest me too much – my priority is to have the strongest-possible squad to choose from for the World Cup Final, which is a massive event for us.

“Clearly having Scott in the frame gives us another quality option, and there won’t be anyone else with more experience of the new circuit by the time the meeting comes around.

“Scott knows this isn’t a guarantee of selection for the team – we’re a long way away from the event, and I’ll be monitoring everyone’s form closely before making that decision.

“But it’s definitely a boost for us and it will also keep all of the other boys on their toes with some good competition for places.”

It could be a monumental season for the Aces skipper. In addition to a return to Team GB, Nicholls will be looking to go one further in this season’s Elite League after defeat over two legs in the play-off final against Poole Pirates last time out.

About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He writes on the lower leagues of English football and Speedway in particular.

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