Bandits delighted by Doolan’s return

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Berwick’s speedway Bandits have handed their fans a nice pre-Christmas present by bringing back 33-year-old Australian Kevin Doolan.

Doolan, who will make his return to the club where he got his first taste of Premier League racing in 2002, arrives with a superb trophy-winning pedigree, a handsome match average of 7.51 and the long-standing respect of everyone at Shielfield Park.

Bandits’ co-promoter Ryan Anderson is delighted the club have re-recruited Doolan, who has retained a high level of popularity ever since his early days in the UK.

“Kevin has always been so welcome here, either as a guest for us or as an opponent,” he observed. “It was time for him to come home!”

Anderson’s enthusiasm over Doolan’s return is understandable, given he is a proven winner.

“Two KO Cup winner’s medals and two Premier Fours titles stand alongside his having been both a Premier Trophy winner and Premier League champion in 2006 with King’s Lynn,” he said.

“I think Kevin, and our Bandits, can look forward to this being a very happy return!”

During the past season, Kevin raced in the Elite League on a dozen occasions for Lakeside Hammers, as well as being a solid scorer with Leicester Lions at Premier level. Anderson has also gone on record with praise for Chris Louis at Ipswich, Kevin’s parent club, who was exceedingly helpful in arranging the move, and for his assistance in registering all the necessary documentation.

“It is worth my saying again – whilst we appreciate our supporters are anxious to know our 2014 line-up – as we have so often made clear, the Berwick club does not deal in rumours, and will only release information regarding riders coming – or going – when all the paperwork has been completed.”

Doolan, a native of Shepparton, Victoria, first arrived in Britain in 1999 to link with Elite League Belle Vue.

Berwick club presenter Dick Barrie recalls a teenage Doolan coming to Shielfield to act as a mechanic with Belle Vue’s Jason Lyons for that season’s Bordernapolis.

“I had seen him previously in Australia,” said Barrie. “He was on the podium at the 1996 Australian U-16 Championship, and I remember going to our then promoter Peter Waite and telling him who Kevin was.

“When another Bordernapolis competitor failed to arrive, Peter gave Kevin a run in that meeting and later recruited him as a massively-popular Bandit for season 2002.”