Mar 9 2010 By Fraser Wilson
James Grieves, Glasgow Tigers
ALAN DICK has challenged Glasgow Tigers' Australian guard to lead the club's chase for honours this season.
The Ashfield outfit, looking to improve on last year's second bottom finish in the Speedway Premier League, have four Aussies in their line-up.
And co-promoter Dick wants to see at least three of those up their average significantly in a bid to climb back into the top half of the table.
New recruit Travis McGowan will lead from the front and, with an average of 11.72, is a tried and trusted performer at the top level of the sport.
But it is his three compatriots further down the riding order - Josh Grajczonek, Robert Ksiezak and Mitchell Davey - who Dick has told to improve their performance.
Grajczonek, 6.28, Ksiezak, 5.01 and Davey, 3.77, are all capable of adding up to two points onto their average according to Dick.
He said: "The 2010 line-up is an experimental one up to a point.
"We have two out-and-out heat leaders in Travis McGowan and James Grieves and then riders with potential who can up their average and play an important part in the season.
"We are looking for big things from the Aussies - Josh Grajczonek, Robert Ksiezak and Mitchell Davey - as they have all been here for at least two years now and they know what to expect.
"They are all capable of putting onto their average and, if they succeed in that, then it could very well be a good season for us.
"Then we have Lee Dicken, a steady and experienced rider with a huge influence on the younger guys, who could also improve slightly.
"We are looking for these guys to back up the big two and help us get back into the top half of the table."
Tigers fans get their first chance to cast their eyes over this season's line-up at Ashfield on Sunday when the club host their annual Press and Practice Day (doors open at 1.30pm).
Then, a week later they host Elite League side Coventry Bees in a glamorous Challenge Match ahead of the season-opening Spring Trophy double header with Edinburgh Monarchs.
A decision is still to be made on who will captain the side this year although Travis McGowan is understood to be the management's first choice should he feel comfortable with the role in his first year since dropping down from Elite League level.
Should he wish to concentrate on his racing then popular Englishman Lee Dicken is likely to take on the captain's role.
No matter who leads the team on the track, Alan Dick is confident the Tigers will deliver for the success-starved Ashfield fans.
He said: "Everything is booming. Season ticket sales are up on last year and we aim to reward the hardcore fans who have stood by us in the last two years.
"Hopefully we can bring some success to Ashfield and up our average gate to around 800 which would help us break even.
"If the fans continue to back us then we will do our best to send them home happy on a Sunday night."