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King’s Lynn’s Danish star Michael Palm Toft is backing the new-look Stars to mount a serious play-off challenge in 2024.
Palm Toft is one of only two riders returning to the Adrian Flux Arena this season from the squad involved in a turbulent ’23 campaign, one which everyone associated with the club wants to put behind them.
And the 33-year-old says he’s especially pleased to see them secure the services of Polish ace Tobiasz Musielak who takes over in the No.1 position after two hugely impressive seasons with Sheffield.
The Sports Insure Premiership as a whole is looking stronger once more with some clubs having assembled powerhouse top-orders, with the Stars going for a more balanced approach as they look for all-round support for Musielak.
Palm Toft said: “It’s quite a changed outfit with only a few left from last year, and with Niels (Iversen) coming back.
“I think we’re a good side, and I really rate Musielak a lot. He’s a brilliant rider and a very nice guy.
“We’ve got a good one-to-seven, that’s for sure, and now we need to get the track dialled in for us, and then off we go. I can’t see why we shouldn’t be in the play-offs.
“It’s one thing when you look at a team being put together on a piece of paper and it’s mouthwatering, but another thing is, is it going to work?
“So I’d certainly say don’t shoot us down because you’ve seen some other teams who you think are going to win it – it doesn’t work like that!”
Palm Toft is pleased to report a clean bill of health following the crash which ruined his 2023 season when he came to grief in a mid-June home fixture against Wolverhampton.
He did return for the closing matches of the campaign for both the Stars and also Scunthorpe in the Championship, but was short of match sharpness although he did still have some good rides.
Now it’s all about being ready for the opening fixtures of the campaign, with the Stars going straight into Premiership action with a tough trip to Leicester on Thursday March 21, followed by the home opener one week later (March 28).
Palm Toft said: “I’ve started running now without having pain in my leg, which I hadn’t been able to do before.
“I tried a few times and it went backwards, but now it feels a lot better and the pain after I’ve finished is now very minimal, and the next day – nothing, so I’m more or less back to normal.
“I don’t think it will ever go back to 100 per cent unless I get the plate and screws out, but that will be for an off-season at some point.
“I’ll be back on a bike in early March and have a few days’ sessions somewhere where I can get properly dialled in and feeling good, that’s what I need.
“Other than that it’s about keeping up with my running and my fitness and make sure I’m ready for that first meeting.”