SWINDON ROBINS: Now Robins can conquer Europe
SWINDON Robins are set to mix it with the top teams from Denmark and Sweden at the start of next season after their Elite League title triumph booked their place in the new European league.
The champions will represent Great Britain alongside beaten finalists Poole Pirates in the event which is due to begin in May, although details of the FIM sanctioned competition are yet to be confirmed.
The Advertiser understands the top two teams from each country will be divided into two groups of three, one team from each country, with home and away meetings scheduled against each group opponent in May and June.
The two group winners will then meet in a two-legged final to decide a winner.
Robins boss Alun Rossiter is not entirely sure how the competition will work, but is excited to be leading his side against some of European speedway’s best sides.
“I have heard that next year at the start of the year that the Swindon team next year will be representing us in the European League, which is something being run through the FIM,” he said.
“That will be great to be involved in, but we don’t know much other than that it will involve the top two teams from each league.
“I don’t know how it is going to work though.”
There are a number of potential conflicts of interests in the event, with a number of riders involved in two teams potentially be competing.
Current Robins Hans Andersen and Peter Kildemand have also qualified for the event with their Danish club, Fjelsted, and it is unclear at this stage which team they will ride for if they are retained by both clubs next season.
Poole captain Chris Holder is in the same boat as his Swedish club Piraterna have also made it in, and Swindon co-promoter Gary Patchett believes there are lots of details to sort out.
“It sounds like a great event to be involved in, but we don’t know much about it,” he said.
“There are issues to sort out because teams built to a 41-point average in Britain and Sweden are very different in strength, and the top riders over here will have a lesser average in Sweden because the league is stronger.
“There might be a way around that, we don’t know, but maybe we could have a squad of nine riders to choose from to make it an even playing field.”