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PREVIEW: OXFORD v SCUNTHORPE (Champ)

OXFORD’S Cowley Stadium is sold out ahead of tonight’s (Wednesday) first competitive meeting at the venue in 15 years.

The Cheetahs host Scunthorpe in their Championship opener – which ironically means the same visiting club are in attendance as in the last fixture back in 2007.

A crowd of 2,000 fans will be trackside as Oxford launch a new era as part of a major stadium regeneration project, following a lengthy campaign against housing development.

Oxford manager Jason Crump said: “It’s huge for the city and huge for speedway. It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people and it hasn’t just happened overnight.

“I’m sure every single fan wants to start off with a win, especially because the first match is at home. The true winner is the speedway public of Oxford. After so long out of the game, to have the sport back means everyone involved is a winner.

“Our riders are, however, there to do a job and earn a living. I’m sure there will be a lot of emotion on the parade for the supporters and Jamie (Courtney, promoter). The riders are now at the point where they’re ready to race.”

Scunthorpe promoter Rob Godfrey said: “It’s amazing that Oxford are back. We got Scunthorpe back after a 20-year-absence in 2005, and it’s brilliant that the Cheetahs are back after 15 years away. Oxford are such a big name in British Speedway.

“I suggested to Jamie that as Scunthorpe were the last team there in 2007 in their final year that we should also be the first team back in 2022. It’s nice to be part of history and I can’t wait to see the packed-out stadium.”

OXFORD: Troy Batchelor, Jack Thomas, Cameron Heeps, Kyle Newman, Scott Nicholls, Josh Macdonald, Dillon Ruml.

SCUNTHORPE: Ryan Douglas, Simon Lambert, Jordan Palin, Tero Aarnio, Jake Allen, Ryan Kinsley, Zaine Kennedy.