Zane Keleher: I am also coaching some young speedway riders and I really enjoy it (interview)
For Zane Keleher, last season was going to be a major breakthrough. Australian has quit his job after twelve years and was supposed to race his first entire league season for Poole Pirates.
Pandemic, however has changed this plan. Keleher was able to return on track… mid- November, when he took part in the Queensland State Championship. Despite such a long break from racing, he managed to stand on the podium.
Konrad Cinkowski (Twój Portal Żużlowy): What are you doing now during these pandemic times?
Zane Keleher: I am back in Australia and doing as much racing as I can here. I am living back in my hometown town Rockhampton which is a great place for training but it is a long way from most of the southern tracks in Australia such as Mildura and Gillman. They are over 2000 kilometers from my city. I am also coaching some young speedway riders and I really enjoy it. I have been a coach for four years now and it feels great to pass on my knowledge and help the future stars of speedway.
– You did not take part in any racing in Europe during last year. What were you doing through that time?
– I stayed in the United Kingdom and kept busy with training and practice. I also found some new British sponsors and met a lot of great people. It was tough without racing, but I made the most of the situation.
– Can such a year discourage people from taking part in this sport?
– Yes I think so. It’s been a very tough 2020 and some riders have already chosen to retire or leave the sport. I think the riders who want it the most will stay and will come out of all of this stronger.
– You came back on track in November with a really good result in the Queensland Championship…
– Yes it was a really great result after not much else at all in 2020.
– Are you going to take part in any competition or did you already come back to Great Britain?
– I am still in Australia and will compete here more in January and February.
– What do you think about the decision to cancel the Australian Championship?
– I think it’s a tough decision. It is only postponed so we will still to fight for the 2021 championship in November. Then we will also have the 2022 championship in January, so it will be a very busy summer. Some Australian riders are still overseas and many of us haven’t raced so much this year, so it would be a very ‘different’ tourneament in comparison to normal ones. Hopefully we can all be home and race the championship in November 2021.
– Why didn’t you sign any contract in Poland?
– I tried very hard to secure a place in Sweden and Poland but I was unsuccessful in locking in the contract.
– Do you feel that you are good enough to compete in Poland?
– Yes of course.
– Do you have any goals for this year?
– We want to win in SGB Championship with the Poole Pirates of course. I also have some personal goals in the state and national championships here in Australia. I hope we can race in different countries and return to some normal racing.
– One of your mentors is Jason Crump. Are you happy that he is back on the track?
– Yes it’s great. He has so much knowledge and experience to pass down to us, younger riders. It’s fantastic to race against him.
– Do you think you will meet Jason on the track this year? Maybe if not in Australia, then in Great Britain?
– Yes I hope so.