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WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE CHEETAHS IN 2024

Oxford's revival has been one of the biggest success stories in British Speedway over the last 2 years and they are quickly establishing themselves as one of the powerhouses of the Cab Direct Championship.

2023 was a year that saw the Cheetahs come very close to making the Play Off Final in just their second season in the Cab Direct Championship, losing out to eventual champions Glasgow in their semi-final.

The Oxford promotion have showed loyalty to their 2023 squad, retaining 6 of last season's side, with all 7 of the class of 2024 having represented them in 2023.

Big hitters Scott Nicholls and Sam Masters return to lead the Cheetahs in 2024 and few teams will have a top 2 to match them going into the new season. Both riders bring a wealth of experience and are no strangers to success in British Speedway's leagues.

Their top 5 is completed by experienced Aussie Cameron Heeps, and young Brits Jordan Jenkins and Henry Atkins. Heeps has not lived up to the promise he has shown in previous campaigns over he last 3 seasons, but his ability is not in doubt and he is a rider that should be aiming to step into Oxford's 3rd heat leader role. His ability to deliver that will be a key factor in the Cheetahs' fortunes this year.

Jenkins is a rider that is well and truly on an upwards trajectory - he has improved steadily every season since stepping up into British Speedway's top 2 leagues and there is no reason to expect he will not continue on this path in 2024. Atkins is another rider that is progressing quickly and he has benefitted more than anyone from the Cheetahs' loyalty towards their riders. Atkins added well over 2 points to his starting average in 2023 which made him one of the most improved riders in the Cab Direct Championship.

Oxford's reserves for the upcoming season are youngsters Luke Killeen and Ashton Boughen. Killeen has had somewhat of an unfortunate start to his British Speedway career, picking up big injuries early in both 2022 and 2023, but he is a rider that has shown a lot of promise when he is fit and can be a useful scorer at reserve for the Cheetahs.

Boughen only started racing speedway late in 2022, but previous to that was a British Motocross Champion in his age class. He is a huge talent and is widely regarded as one of British Speedway's biggest prospects. If Boughen can continue his rapid progress so far, he has the ability to score heavily from reserve and can turn the Cheetahs into title contenders in 2024.

BSN Verdict:

The Cheetahs side is full of young talent and has a top 2 that will match anyone in 2024. The success of this side will hinge on Cameron Heeps ability to step up as a third heat leader and for their youngsters to continue the progress they made in 2023. If Ashton Boughen can reach the heights many expect, the Cheetahs are going to be a dangerous outfit and will be serious contenders for silverware.

CHEETAHS LINE UP FOR 2024:

Sam Masters

Scott Nicholls

Cameron Heeps

Jordan Jenkins

Henry Atkins

Luke Killeen

Ashton Boughen

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