Blogs & Opinion


Manage expectations

Rossiter's enthusiasm can help Robins thrive, says Kelvin

Kelvin Tatum Posted 13th April 2012 view comments

Swindon had a very disappointing campaign last year, finishing bottom of the Elite League, but they have rebuilt their team and it seems to be reaping rewards.

They have proper quality and real strength in depth and that has been highlighted in their early-term wins over Birmingham and King's Lynn.

Hans Anderson and Troy Batchelor have been riding extremely well and they've also got Peter Kildemand down in reserve, a young Swedish rider who has also been in terrific form.

The boss is back: Rossiter has returned to Swindon after a stint with Coventry

The boss is back: Rossiter has returned to Swindon after a stint with Coventry

It is perhaps a tad surprising that the Robins have come out of the traps so quickly considering the amount of personnel changes they made. Their riders are of the utmost ability on paper but that doesn't always foster a great team dynamic.

However, now that they have gelled, I expect the Wiltshire side to fly high in the standings for the remainder of the season unless, of course, they are scuppered by injuries. I view the team as a definite top-four outfit.

Rossiter is a really bubbly character and genuinely passionate about the sport

Kelvin Tatum
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Alun Rossiter has returned to manage the Robins after a spell at Monday night's opponents Coventry. He is a really bubbly character and genuinely passionate about the sport; his enthusiasm will be an important ingredient and will rub off onto his riders.

Jaunt

Coventry haven't made an electric start, but we have seen teams come from poor openings before and enjoy successful campaigns.

The Bees have quality in their team; Scott Nicholls has started very well and Edward Kennett, banned last year for silencer irregularities, is looking pretty good.

And then there is the return of Chris Harris. I'm not privy to the exact reasons why he was loaned out to Belle Vue last season but sometimes these things happen in speedway. There can be average problems and disagreements over money.

I'm not surprised he is back this year, though. He needs time to settle after his jaunt down to Auckland for the New Zealand Grand Prix at the end of March, but when he does he will rack up the points.

Coventry have achieved a lot over the last seven or eight years, winning the Elite League on three occasions, but before that it was all the way back in the 1980s when they last won the top division.

And I sense that the hierarchy are looking at success over the next two or three seasons rather than instant glory. Stability is difficult in speedway as, because of the average limits, things always have to change, but they must have a three, four, five-year plan.

Coventry have travelled well in the past and they should be able to pick up points on the road this term. Whether they do that on Monday night is another matter...

Swindon are a very strong team and if the Bees come away with a league point they will be relatively pleased.

TALE OF THE TRACK

Abbey Stadium is a very technical circuit but also a very fast one; it's a real test for both man and machine. It is always very well prepared and you need good horsepower there as well as a shrewd racing brain.

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