MADSEN CALLS FOR HUNGRY LIONS

PAUL BURBIDGE

Danish ace Leon Madsen is challenging his Czestochowa side to show the desire needed to grab PGE Ekstraliga title gold.

Madsen was gutted to see the Lions fall short of the play-offs in Poland’s top flight last term.

But he is hoping a side also featuring the likes of his FIM Speedway Grand Prix rival Fredrik Lindgren, Bartosz Smektala, Kacper Woryna and World Under-21 champion Jakub Miskowiak can bounce back in 2022.

While Madsen knows winning the world’s biggest speedway league is no easy task. He admits he is disappointed not to have been in title contention with the Lions in recent seasons.

Asked what it would take to get there, Madsen admitted: “Maybe we need to want it a lot more. I don’t know. I feel like we have the team; it just a matter of how much we really want it.

“Maybe this year it will be better. We will have to see. I will do my very best, but it’s a tough league. It’s the best league in the world and all the teams are very good and very even. It’s not easy, but hopefully we will be up there fighting for top spot.”

The Lions last reached the play-offs in 2019, but have finished fifth in both of the last two seasons. Madsen makes no secret of the fact this was not what he was expecting.

He added: “I am very disappointed with how our last few seasons have gone. I did a three-year deal at Czestochowa because I was expecting we would be up there, fighting for the championship. But we have been far away from that.

“It has been quite disappointing with the team we have had over the last few years and with the big advantage we have with the junior guys. We should be fighting for the medals.

“Unfortunately we haven’t been able to do that, but this year the play-off system is going to be slightly different. There will be quarter finals and hopefully we can take it a step further and get up there and fight for the medals. That would be nice.”

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