SWINDON Robins team manager Alun Rossiter addresses some of the big issues from the Robins’ 2014 season, in his exclusive column with Link Sport.
I was pleased with the team we built.
A lot of people talk about Jason Doyle, he’s our rider so rightly so, but at the time he was still talking about doubling up and we just couldn’t take that chance.
The rules have changed a bit since and we would have had priority on him, but at the time I needed a commitment and we couldn’t risk it. It would have been better, like he is now, riding in Poland and Sweden which has helped him make that move. He’s shown just how good he is now by becoming a GP rider.
People say it’s about money, it’s nothing to do with money. There’s a set rate for doubling up riders at the time and he was doubling up, so it’s not about money.
Concern for Darryl
Darryl had a really good meeting at Lakeside and he surprised me a little, I was very impressed, so it was looking really good.
Sadly, everything happened for him.
I do feel Garrity did come across the front of him, not nastily but maybe a little hard, and Darryl’s wheel clipped his back wheel which accelerated him into the bend.
It was a really hard time, especially for his family and they are of course the most important, but it’s amazing how everything’s turned out.
It’s great he’s back and looking at having another go at things, but he needs to build himself back up again and take things slowly
Time for a change. Nicolai out, North in
I thought Nicolai had overcome a few of his issues, I don’t really want to go into them, but I thought he was over a few of the issues with his head. There were signs that he wasn’t ready and the season was slipping a little bit, and I just felt that I had to make that change.
It was sad because we’re friends as well, but my job is to do what’s good for Swindon speedway.
We made some changes with the fast track but they were brought upon us, but I was happy with the change we made and Dak came in and did really well.
A few people berated me about it at the time but I think it was justified, it was always going to be Nicolai because of what I saw. I thought it was the right thing to do.
You have to remember Dak had barely ridden by the time we signed him, but he’s one rider I’ve always wanted to bring in before. He’s always been on my radar.
I thought he would do well but I didn’t expect the massive upturn, he’s an accomplished rider now.
Alun Rossiter v Dave Robinson
I’ve made my feelings clear about this one and I really wouldn’t want him to be officiating on any Swindon business, because he’s made his feelings on it all clear.
He’s not impartial and he’s shown he’s had serious issues, which is a real shame. I’ve shook his hand a few times after tough meetings but once he didn’t even talk to me during the meeting.
It still annoys me, looking back at it, but you have to move on from things.
There are a lot of very good referees in the Elite League, with a few who maybe aren’t up to it, but on the whole they are usually pretty good.
I learnt a bit from it though, I was trying to be calm and level headed and hopefully it showed.
Always confident but ultimately underachieved
I was never really in any doubt at all we would make the play-offs.
That’s why I’m still frustrated now really because, with the team we’ve got and the form we were in, it came undone for us.
I think we’ve underachieved, definitely, but circumstances have dictated that.
We got to the play-offs when a load of so-called experts had us down for sixth place, so we have to be happy with that.
The fans definitely weren’t confident though and, because I was so confident, I kind of enjoyed that. Week in week out I had to tell them to believe me.
People can call us a failure now if they want but we still made the play-offs and there are still five other teams who would have changed places with us.
One eye on the final
I’ll watch the final for sure and I’ll probably be involved in some way because of my Poole connections. BBC radio down there have asked me to go and do some reporting which is nice.
It seems to be that every time we’re not in the final I get asked to go down there in some way.