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Tigers land Nemo to boost push for silverware

By on July 29, 2015

Glasgow have made a “statement of intent” over their hopes for silverware this season – by signing Finnish international Kauko Nieminen, writes Bryan Copland.

The 35-year-old, who rode for the Tigers in 2006, has joined on a 7.25 average in place of the injured David Howe.

‘Nemo’ was a hugely popular member of Glasgow’s team that made the Premier League play-offs nearly a decade ago, when he formed a potent top three with Shane Parker and Danny Bird.

Now, team manager Stewart Dickson hopes he can become part of a power-packed top four as the Tigers compete on three different fronts towards the season’s climax.

Dickson said: “We’re delighted to bring Kauko to the club. At this stage of the season, I didn’t want to take a chance with an untried foreigner. This is not the year to do that.

“Kauko comes in on a 7.25 and I think we all know he’ll be capable of getting that or being very close to that.

“It’s important we got somebody who knows the track and knows the script here. It’s not new to him, so he’s not learning. He’s what I would call ready-made and it gives us a very strong top four.

“It’ll give the riders a boost – when they see Kauko walk through the pits, it’ll give them a lift and hopefully give the fans a lift as well.”

Dickson believes the signing of Nieminen sends a message out to the Tigers’ title rivals. He added: “It’s getting near the business end of the season and we’re in the League Cup final.

“It’s a statement of intent. We want to be challenging for trophies. We’ve put ourself in a position to challenge for them and as I promised a couple of weeks ago, it isn’t just going to peter out. We’re going for it and this proves our intentions that we’ll bring the best to Glasgow if we can.”

Nieminen spent the early part of his UK career in the Premier League for the Tigers and more prominently Workington, before going on to become an established Elite League performer with clubs including Lakside and Belle Vue. He also spent time with Leicester Lions in the second tier a couple of seasons ago.

Last year he found himself thrown onto the Grand Prix stage when he stood in as a last-minute replacement for Krzysztof Kasprzak at the Finnish round of the World Championship, scoring four points. He has also represented his country on numerous occasions in the Speedway World Cup.

He makes his debut tonight against Plymouth, alongside the Tigers’ other new signing Hynek Stichauer.

Pic by Ian Adam

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