27 November 2022
The Dirt Xtra
It’s officially silly season and the rumour mill is headed into overdrive…
Season 2022 is now definitely behind us, following the End of Season Party on Friday night just past.
An impressively-large number of fans somehow packed themselves into the Radio Rooms to say ciao for the next few months to those who represented the Bandits, Bullets and Academy!
It will come as no surprise to anyone that our 2022 No.1 Chris Harris romped away with all on offer at the senior level with Ace Pijper and Mason Watson sharing the spoils for the Bullets, while Stene Pijper and Cayden Martin collected the Academy-level awards.
I must say on a personal level, like many others no doubt, how truly privileged we have been to have Bomber in our colours for the full season.
We were scoffed at by more than a few fans from the Stripes when he was announced but how much did he quiet them and many others?
Sadly, it’s been confirmed that Bomber just can’t handle the extended Saturday league programme and will reluctantly have to move on in 2023 and wherever he goes I’m sure we wish him all the luck in the world at his new track, and will welcome him back warmly on the nights he returns to test our lads.
Anyways, the Party also saw the announcement of the first FTS Bandit of 2023; our new captain to boot; Leon Flint!
Getting Leon back is a coup…. His career trajectory has only gone in one direction and there’s no reason why the added responsibility of the captaincy should hinder that in 2023!
Sunday night saw the next four guys named with Jye, Jonas and Nathan returnees from 2022 and an old friend also coming home in TJ — the ever-smiling Thomas Jorgensen.
With the way things look so far, there is even a possibility we could start with Jonas at reserve! Like we saw last year, Jonas will likely prove to be very very potent, either as a powerful reserve or ever-improving star of the 1-5!
Its probable TJ will start on a higher converted average from the Premiership, making him our #1, but all being well a couple of early meetings at most will see him convert to a rolling Championship average and give a more realistic figure for us to play with should we need!
TJ has rarely had a bad meeting around Shielfield and it’s at home where we do need to pick up form; too many points have been dropped over recent years which have severely impacted our play off chances!
I’ve no idea in all honesty how many points we will be left with for the final two riders — today’s AGM should finalise all the averages for 2023 team-building — it all makes me glad that it ain’t me having to string a team together!!
For now though….five solid stars named and the satisfaction of knowing we’ve got speedway to look forward to in 2023!
A solid thirty-two match league programme and maybe less piss-around extra minor meetings means it’s going to be a very competitive upcoming season!!!
Let’s go…. Yeeeha boys!!!