Published on 25th November 2022
Author Dick Barrie

Tonight’s announcement of our completed 1-7 has raised a few eyebrows.

Connor Coles will be the only member of our new line-up who is not a returnee to the Bandits’ colours – although Connor has been our guest previously, he hasn’t been in our official 1-7…..

Hey, what about Roo-Boy?

Nope, Rory Schlein was a Bandit – very briefly – when he was sweet sixteen!

The future (takes a deep breath) Australian U-16 Champion, two-time Australian U-21 Champion, four time South Australian Champion, four time Scottish Open Champion, double Elite League Riders Champion, 2020 British Champion – oh, and a former Bordernapolis winner too – did ride as an official Bandit in what I believe was his first-ever match at our level – on Saturday, May 19th, 2001…..

Rory had arrived in Scotland with his parents (his dad Lyndon had joined the Edinburgh commercial department) and the fresh-faced Roo-Boy was already showing progress at Third Division level with Sheffield’s young Prowlers as well as in Armadale second-halves.

Thus, ever the optimist and with a space at reserve in his squad for a KO Cup-tie with Sheffield Tigers, Peter Waite grabbed the lad and signed him up to become our No 6.

Sadly, in three starts, Roo-Boy failed to trouble the scorer (although Bandits did win, 47-43) and, as was the way with wee Peter’s bad ideas, he was released again at the end of the night but went on to race for the Monarchs that year – and won the league with them a couple of seasons later…..

So, can we say that Rory’s never raced in a losing Berwick team?

As well as welcoming him back to the club, twenty-two years after the first time, and hopefully to score a lot more points – unfinished business?

With the team announcement of Rory and Connor (and Connor’s dad Michael was also a short-lived Bandit in the Waite era, of course) our selected seven are the first full 1-7 revealed by any British club for the 2023 season.

So what’s next?

Well, there are signs of activity on the merchandising front with online shopping on the way — while season passes for the new term are expected to be available early next month.

In short, while others are talking and hinting about doing things, your promotional are going ahead and actually doing it!

The NDL have AGM this coming Tuesday, after which the formation and any rule-changes affecting the Bullets should also be known.

In a recent ‘Speedway Star’ column, I said that when I’m asked what I do in the cold winter months when there’s no speedway, I reply that I just stare sadly out the window and wait for springtime…..

Well, with a full FTS Bandits (powered by Keenwood Karpets) line-up now announced, my long-time friend Rory back to mentor his younger team-mates and only about four more months to wait, maybe I’m not just so sad tonight……

Dick Barrie
Dick Barrie

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