Eastbourne Eagles team manger Trevor Geer believes flying young Finnish rider Timo Lahti could be the surprise package this season.
Lahti was signed by Eagles as a replacement for Polish rider Dawid Lampart in 2001.
The Finn scored seven points on his debut against Lakeside and became an instant hit with the fans.
But this season Geer believes he can make a name for himself in the Elite League.
“Timo has looked very strong in practice. He came into the side last year and struggled a bit with a broken foot but this year I believe we will see the best from him. I’m very optimistic about the new season.”
The Eastbourne Eagles begin their 2012 Elite League campaign on Saturday March 24 against Belle Vue at Arlington Stadium (flags up 7.30pm).