PETER Schroeck is pleased with the continuity in his Oxford Cheetahs side as they prepare for their season opener tomorrow night.

Six riders were retained from the 2023 end-of-season play-off squad which ultimately missed out on the Championship grand final after a four-point aggregate defeat to Glasgow Tigers.

Returning are Sam Masters, Scott Nicholls, Jordan Jenkins, Henry Atkins and Cameron Heeps, while teenage duo Ashton Boughen and Luke Killeen complete the side.

READ ALSO: Jay Matete ruled out for season with knee injury

Asked by the Oxford Mail how important that continuity is, Schroeck said: “I’ve been around a long time and I can’t remember it. A lot of the time over the years, you get the changes, with the point limits and one thing or another.

“As soon as we saw the point limits coming through, for me, it was a natural sort of progression to go with the same guys again.

“We had to make a difficult decision to let one of the top boys go in Lewis Kerr. We kept Sam Masters, he’s our out and out number one, and everybody knows what you get out of Scott.

“Everything else just fitted back in again perfectly, so to have the same team is quite an achievement and very exciting because we all know each other.”

On Nicholls and Masters, Schroeck said: “I’ve known Scott for many, many years, and he’s at an age now where he doesn’t want to be travelling.

“We’ve made a commitment with him, and as long as he’s the Scott Nicholls that he is right now, he’ll ride his time out at Oxford.

“He’s very excited about that happening, and his experience is phenomenal. All the youngsters are listening to him and he’s a calm head in the pits, which is really important.

“Sam doesn’t actually know how good he is, and personally I think he’s one of the most stylish riders in the country, if not on a world level.

“He’s up there and still working to his full potential. He’s an out and out number one in this league, so we feel really privileged to have him back on board.”


Discussing teenage duo Boughen and Killeen, Schroeck said: “We’ve built a strong team around those two boys. Ashton has only been riding just under two years, and he’s already riding in the top two leagues in this country.

“I’ve worked with Ashton from day one, and that’s why he’s here. Luke has just come back from Australia, winning the Western Australian Championship at a very young age, and they’re really good guys to have on board.

“They’re learning all the time and they’re like sponges. The managing side of things is keeping them calm and making sure they’re looked after.

“I don’t expect massive points off them, I just want them to enjoy the ride, and the points will come to them.”