JARI Makinen is determined to show Ipswich Witches fans he’s hasn’t joined the Suffolk side to make up the numbers.

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JARI Makinen is determined to show Ipswich Witches fans he’s hasn’t joined the Suffolk side to make up the numbers.

The 22-year-old Finn was the surprise name in the Witches team announced earlier this month. And while some Witches fans may have been saying ‘Jari who?’, Jari Makinen knows 2013 is his chance to shine.

“I’m really happy to be coming to Ipswich, it’s a big chance for me,” he said.

“Last season at Leicester was a bad one for me.

“I had some good home meetings, but not away from home. It was my first season in England and I learned a lot.”

Makinen, who lives two hours north of Helsinki, in Finland, has been working hard since returning home at the end of the 2012 season.

“I work in the family business,” he said.

“My brother owns a bus and taxi company and I’ve been doing some driving for him.”

But with temperatures at minus 20 degrees and snow on the ground, Makinen is looking forward to things warming up in England next summer.

“When I knew Leicester didn’t want me, I contacted Chris Louis to see if he had a space for me at Ipswich,” Makinen added.

“I rode at Ipswich twice last year and had one of my best away meetings the first time, but not so good the second.

“I have some really good sponsors lined up in the UK. So with their help and a year’s experience I think I can have a good season and help Ipswich to the play-offs.”

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