That’s not what you wanted?

Published on 16th June 2022
Author George Dodds

The funny thing about the week just gone is that as group of people got what they wanted, in some cases vociferously demanded … but it turns out that’s it’s not what they actually meant.

Change. Not only as good as a rest but vital if the Bandits were to keep alive/reignite any hopes of reaching the play-offs. Apparently.

I know this because a sizeable group of fans have been telling me it for a number of weeks whenever I wander – deliberately or otherwise – into their orbit.

This week they got what they had seemingly called for. Or not as the case may be.

In comes former 250CC World Champion, current vidunderban and SGP2 star Jonas Knudsen.

Jonas already has a natty Berwick merch jacket as modelled in Taylor Lanning’s picture which accompanied the much used media release on our latest great Dane. Which begged an intriguing question as the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that the said jacket is not of this year’s vintage but 2021.

So does young Lanno have a car boot full of assorted team jackets ready to whip out in the blink of an eye whenever he gets tasked with getting THE picture? Only, in the modern age, usage fees aint what they used to be so can only afford to upgrade the jackets on an irregular basis? Wouldn’t surprise me one iota.

Expect to see the impressive young snapper – rapidly building his own considerable extension to the already epic Lanning legend within speedway, newspapers and sport in general – queuing for a 2022 vintage Berwick Speedway jacket on his next visit to the place of speed. Our new norse presumably gets an up to date one as part of his new contract.

Or perhaps, if you’re a conspiracy theorist, we have had Jonas signed for a year – maybe even pre-Covid because those jackets were actually ordered for the season that never was –  kitted him out in Bandits’ merch and then forgotten all about him only to suddenly remember him when a combination of Corvornia, lemsip and Birra Moretti induced a promotorial flashback (always read the label keep away from children).

“Oh my god we forgot about Knudsen.”

“The bloke with the colander on his head and the bedroom of the house he shares, aged 46, with his mother wallpapered with tin foil who posts on the messageboards – FromanAsylum or Emmylouharris or something like that – was right all along.”

“It’s all a scam to keep the hard of thinking in the dark and rob Redcar of cup glory.”

Bearing in mind the other signing is called Stoneman – an obvious reference to Dylan, the Magic Roundabout and wacky baccy – and there you have it, case closed Watson.

It’s all a plot to do the dirrty on Redcar because Chris Harris was unavailable, we were too afraid to face Bears, Rob Godfrey is the devil incarnate and is demanding that the restaurant chain be renamed TGI (any day but Friday). FACT.

Or we were desperately short-staffed due to illness and unavailability – we’ve had to plead with the north of England’s leading LGBT+ karaoke commodore to do a shift in the box when Mildenhall visit on Saturday despite other, long-standing commitments   and the team changes which were demanded have happened as there is no such thing as idle hands when it comes to the Berwick promotion.

Obviously with Jonas and Nathan joining the ranks there has to be two departing. After all you are only allowed seven riders and their combined averages have to fit under the points’ limit.

In this case the injured Ty and Kyle – who it would be fair to say has a divergent view to our management about the cause of his low scoring trough – were the men to say adieu … but not goodbye.

Replacing Kyle is the move which seems to have upset some – including at least two durrty qwertys who had been calling for just that for a number of weeks now.

Collateral damage was a phrase used and it’s true to say that in a numbers game such as speedway it is often the case for those in the six and seven berths.

Much frothing also about Aaron Summers’ decision to reverse his retirement and replace the injured Jack Thomas in the Oxford line-up.

It is not unknown for me to be critical of keyboard warriors but too many do themselves few favours especially those who take the League of Gentlemen approach to the Summers Sensation – to wit simple answers for simple folk.

He lives in Wooler so if he wanted to ride again surely Newcastle or Berwick. Why Oxford?

Diamonds fans seem especially apoplectic that he hasn’t chosen to jump aboard the shitshow that is Brough Park 2022, attempting the equivalent of saving the Titanic with a 3-watt hairdryer, choosing to join a club whose supporters are booing their own riders, riding on a deal, the alleged details of which had been widely trumpeted by the club’s owner, immediately making it as mission improbable. A deal which seems too good to be true. Whether or not it was we’ll never know.

So instead of trying to single-handedly trying to turn Newcastle around in front of a handful of grumbling Geordies, Wor Spud has chosen to be the third heat leader at one of the sport’s real success stories, riding in front of big, appreciative crowds at a club led by a promoter who is renowned as a man of his word.

Turning down the opportunity to be managed by Steve Pate and opting instead to put himself under the guidance of Jason Crump and Peter Shroeck.

What can he be thinking?

And why not Berwick? Well the points’ limit for a start, fitting him in would have meant a fairly major overhaul of the Bandits. And to those who thought he would have been a better choice than Ty at the start of the season?

Not a bad call – except that he was still retired and his average would have bust the points’ limit. And while he rode it well enough I suspect that Shielfield will never be at the top of Aaron’s list of favourite tracks.

Minor niggles but niggles nonetheless.

It’s all Rob Godrey’s fault.

As is the Bullets’ position at the top of the National Development League – although the seven sporting the colours may have had a wheel in the fight.

Revenge over Mildenhall would be a minor upgrade on three more points towards reaching their own play-offs.

James Shanes is on Longtrack GP duty in Poland alongside Bomber and Theo. Showtime Blair guests for the Tigers at his new fave track, Armadale, on Friday and then faces them at Shielfield 24 hours later, with Danny Phillips guesting that night and lining up alongside Jason Edwards – a man who has visited Shielfield more times this season than many of the keyboard warriors who wallow in woe-is-me-ness at the drop of a point.

And of course leading the Bullets is Kyle Bickley. The man who was a Bandit this time last week.

It is, as they say, a funny old game.

George Dodds
George Dodds

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