1 October 2023
The Dirt Xtra
The more things change, the more they stay the same, or so…
Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?
I could talk about many things, given there has been much happening since my last ramblings here.
I could talk about Dan Bewley and his famous win in Cardiff.
I could talk about our own Leon Flint and his excellent display in SGP2 at Cardiff.
I could talk about who is going to win the highly prestigious Mythman Bandit of the year award.
But I’m not. If you want to hear my opinions on that, you’ll have to buy a programme this Saturday night when the Bandits take on the Scunthorpe Scorpions at Shielfield Park.
Somewhat unbelievably, that is set to be the Bandits final league match of the season, which I must admit comes with a tinge of sadness.
The Bullets have obviously made the playoffs in the National Development League, and we have them to support as they aim to make history and pick up a third-tier league title for the first time in almost three decades.
However, that will be rightly spotlighted when the time comes and for now, I want to focus on the Bandits and the season they’ve had. Many a superlative and cliché can be used to describe it, but I think Freddie Mercury called it when he said “It started off so well….”
What promised so much in the beginning simply didn’t happen and there are many factors to throw into the mix, but I think the beginning of it all was the night we lost Jye Etheridge and simply put, we failed to cover his absence.
Gambles didn’t pay off, riders expected to do well didn’t kick on the way they were expected to, and things just didn’t go to plan.
It’s just speedway, isn’t it?
However, despite results things haven’t been all bad let’s be fair.
We have been entertained more often than not and Chris Harris has been in absolute vintage form for the most part and has subsequently been a pleasure to watch. You could also say similar for Leon Flint, who has further improved and has proved to be solid back up to the Bandits number one, a job he wasn’t really signed to do in fairness.
But step up and progress he has, and we are witnessing the very epitome of a local boy done good, long may that continue. What is also worth noting is that Leon has raced in the black and gold with passion and pride, it really appears to mean something to him.
That sort of passion isn’t something you see every day in sport and speedway is no exception to that.
Other positives have included Jonas Knudsen who, visa issues aside, has been nothing short of a revelation upon his arrival to Shielfield. Now, I’m just playing devil’s advocate here, but I can’t help but feel that Jonas rather likes being a Bandit, much the same as we like having him as a Bandit…wouldn’t it be nice if he put pen to paper for 2023?
Just saying, just saying!
But feel free to stop me when I’m telling lies.
So, in short, the season hasn’t been what I expected it to be, it likely hasn’t been the season you expected it to be but we’re still in the fight and it isn’t all doom and gloom. There are always glimmers of light in amongst the darkness and we still have plenty to be positive about as Bandits fans.
I tend to look at things through a glass half full rather than the glass half empty and it would be fair to say that yes, we have had better seasons results wise. Have we had a better season racing wise? In recent memory, I’m genuinely not so sure. However, we do have a team to support, something many others unfortunately do not.
Another cliché is that there is always next season, and there is. That in itself, is a positive.
Of course if you wish to agree, or disagree with the Mythman, have an idea for a feature, or you simply wish to chew the fat over all things speedway, you can email me email@example.com or get in touch via the JB Speedway Media Facebook page. If your compliments, or indeed gripes can be contained to limited characters you can tweet @Mythman666.
Until next time…and there will be a next time.
Right, I’ll hae’tae gan.