Tai Woffinden sets sights on Elite League, World Championship and World Cup in 2014

Last Updated: 19/03/14 3:54pm

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Speedway world champion Tai Woffinden is determined to help Wolverhampton's young team challenge for the Elite League title in 2014.

Wolves saw their impressive 2013 campaign end at the semi-final stage to rivals Birmingham in September but Woffinden - who has taken the British and world titles in the past 12 months - is optimistic they can be in the mix once again this term.

"It's a long season and it's not straightforward but we're in it to win it."
Tai Woffinden

19-year-old Pole Piotr Pawlicki, who has had brief spells with Coventry and Poole in the past, is among the new recruits and Woffinden is hopeful that a combination of rising stars and better luck with injuries will bring success to Monmore Green.

"It was tough for Wolves last year," he told Sky Sports.

"I had my fair share of injuries and missed a few meetings and the same goes for Ty Proctor, who was injured for a lot of the season.

"But they've re-built the team and everybody is up for it. We've got quite a young team this season, which could be on a knife edge - but I think a lot of them will over-ride.

"That's what it's all about; it's about progression and taking opportunities.

"I'll help them out as much as I can and we'll see where we go from there. It's a long season and it's not straightforward but we're in it to win it."

Poole Pirates have been crowned champions in two of the past three seasons and finished runners-up in the Elite League to a strong Swindon side in 2012.

Elite League Riders' Championship

6pm, Sunday, Sky Sports 2 HD

With Darcy Ward leading them in 2014 they are sure to be in contention once again - however, Woffinden says Wolves are fully focussed on their own preparations for the new campaign and are not taking any notice of their rivals' build-up.

"Poole take every opportunity with both hands but we'll see how it unfolds," he said.

"We focus on our thing. Peter Adams, our manager, knows how we all are and how we ride and it won't take him long to figure out that about the new kids either.

"I wouldn't have a clue who will be up there at the end but I'd like to say we will be there. I'm looking forward to it all getting under way."

Dream

As well as his Elite League ambitions, Woffinden is also dreaming of retaining his world championship.

That's a feat only achieved by Nicki Pedersen and Tony Rickardsson in the past 20 years but, although the 23-year-old from Scunthorpe is well aware of the difficulty of that task, he's up for the challenge.

"I'd like to retain my championship," said Woffinden, who was recently named Great Britain captain.

"Realistically I'm aiming for a top three finish because winning it two years on the trot will be extremely hard - but I'll do everything in my power to try and make that happen.

Woffinden took 2013 world title

"It's going to be hard work to try and repeat the success I had in 2013 but I've been working very hard in the off season trying to keep everything together and I'm starting the season as I finished the last one."

Woffinden is also aiming for international success this year and will lead Great Britain at the World Cup this summer after new national team boss Alun Rossiter handed made him the captaincy.

"It's been a crazy 12 months - I've become British champion, world champion and named captain of Great Britain," he said.

"I'm sure the fans are behind me and I'll do the best to do what I can - but it's a team event as well so everyone needs to work together. It's not just about the captain or a couple of riders. It's down to everyone.

"Fingers crossed everyone is going quick at that time of the season."

See Tai Woffinden in action at the Elite League Riders' Championship live on Sky Sports 2 HD on Sunday from 6pm

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