Speedway: Kevin Doolan aiming to make a big impact at Leicester Lions
Kevin Doolan is hoping his position as one of speedway's elder statesman will make Leicester Lions a force to be reckoned with this season.
The 32-year-old Australian has a wealth of experience, having raced in Great Britain for more than 12 years.
It began with Belle Vue in 1999 and the journey since has taken in Glasgow, King's Lynn, Ipswich and Lakeside among other places.
After making an impact at Redcar towards the end of last season, Doolan is looking forward to a new challenge with the Harry Jordan Haulage-backed Lions.
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"I've ridden for a few Elite and Premier League teams and you could call me an elder statesman now, I suppose," he said. "Hopefully, that experience will come in handy over the next few months.
"I've ridden with, or against, most of the Lions riders at some stage and I like to be a friendly face in the pits. Even if I haven't ridden with then, I've probably spoken to them.
"I enjoy my speedway and being a big part of a team, which I'm sure I will be this season."
Lions open their season with a challenge match against Elite League and arch rivals Coventry Bees at the re-branded Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium tomorrow, before revving up for Premier League Cup action two weeks today.
Doolan, who brings a 7.29 greensheet average to the tapes, admits the chance to ride with Leicester has always appealed.
"I've spoken with (promoter) David (Hemsley) over the last couple of years but things haven't worked out for all manner of reasons," he said. "However, it was always on the agenda and I always thought it was possible I could ride here.
"I was speaking to a few other clubs but I always kept Leicester in mind. In the end, it seemed the logical decision.
"It just feels right. There is not much money in the sport at the moment, so when you look at things, and you're splitting hairs over a couple of pounds a point, you think you would rather go to a place where you are going to enjoy it and I think I will."
Doolan has enjoyed success in the past at Leicester, winning the Premier Fours with Ipswich in 2011. "I've really enjoyed it as an away rider and held the track record for a while," he said.
"Mind you, I like to go to all tracks and I have my ways of attacking every situation. Maybe it's experience, or my Aussie background, but I'm happy to ride anywhere, enjoy life and pass that on to my team-mates."
Apart from captain Kauko Nieminen, who is a year older, the rest of the Lions riders are in their mid-20s or younger.
Doolan is confident they can deliver. "I can't say much about the rest of the league but I think we're a good side and we'll be competitive," he said.
"You always go into a season hopeful that your going to come away with a title or a trophy.
"That is the reason why you put so much effort into it."