Kevin Doolan's picture

Truth be told I don’t take much notice when people make pre-season predictions and I certainly wouldn’t know where the ‘Speedway Star’ panel of experts predicted Berwick would finish in the Championship.

But I’ll admit that it has brought a smile to my face on many occasions since the ‘Star’ was published that people have come to me with a firmly-held belief that this year’s Bandits’ team will be at the pointy end of the table come play-off time.

It’s great to see the belief in their faces and the positivity flowing from them when they compare our line up to those of other, apparently more-fancied, teams.

By nature I’m a positive person. I like to lead by example but never take anything for granted and am always aware that around every corner is the need for even more hard work.

Our team has built a positive vibe over the last few years.

As riders we know that we can be honest among ourselves about strengths and weaknesses, pass ideas back and forth and work together at making improvements both on and off the track.

We get along great and have a great laugh with, sometimes at, each other along the way. That is a big motivating factor for us to continue to work hard and move forward.

We have every right to be proud of our results against Newcastle last weekend.

Home and away all of our riders showed they had worked hard over the winter, made improvements where needed and came to the tapes ready and eager to race in the Bandits colours.

After Sunday night’s meeting I enjoyed a Newcastle Brown Ale with a very satisfied, verging on smug, smile on my face reflecting not only at the on-track performance of our riders but the work that has been put in over the last few years to make Berwick Speedway a place that people all over the speedway world are talking about with enthusiasm ... and not a little envy at times.

We all enjoyed the moment, we deserved to, but then immediately turned our thoughts to the next meeting, then the one after that, then …

I know it will be a long season with some obstacles to overcome along the way but if we can all stay healthy then we have a great chance of pushing for honours.

We have already shown against Newcastle that we are keen and race sharp so maintaining that focus and adapting to the ever-changing challenges of a speedway racing season will be vital.

Only time will tell but already all seven Bandits have given our fans something to be excited about this season.

We are very much in the sporting/entertainment businesses and at the moment I’d say we have successfully ticked both those boxes in the opening weeks of the season.

As the days get longer and the temperature warmer I’m sure we will keep that balance while working to bring home some hard-earned silverware.