ALUN Rossiter always knew the Swindon Robins class of 2012 were capable of ending the club’s 45-year wait for success.
Robins beat Poole over two legs to claim the Elite League title at the end of a stunning season, with the likes of Hans Andersen, Peter Kildemand and Troy Batchelor going down in history alongside the heroes of 1967.
Rossiter returned to the club in the winter after a stint at Coventry, and after forming a brand new team following a disastrous 2011, he was always confident of success.
“I had a feeling it was a good side right at the beginning, and after the first three or four weeks of the season I was very vocal about how good we were,” he said.
“I knew at that point we were a great team and we had a great chance, and I said that right at the start.
“We have some great riders who gave everything for the club all season, and I can have no higher praise for them. Not every team can turn looking good on paper into a league win, but we did.
“I predicted most of the top four too, with Birmingham as a dark horse, and I didn’t do too badly there either. First and foremost, I might be manager but a lot of the credit has to go to the riders because all I have done is guide the ship.
“I have guided it into a nice little place and the boys now have made it happen.”
Ever since the Robins clinched the title on Monday night Rossiter has been inundated with congratulations, and while the Swindon boss had tears in his eyes as he lifted the trophy in Dorset, he didn’t expect the triumph to capture the imagination of the town in the way it has.
“I didn’t realise just how much this all meant to Swindon people, my Twitter and Facebook has gone into meltdown, and I had over 100 messages after it was all over,” he said.
“Even people I didn’t know had my number have been getting in touch, including Paul Trollope who is obviously a Swindon lad. That all shows how much the town think of us. I have had calls from people who didn’t think they would all get wrapped up in it, and we didn’t realise quite how much this means to everybody.”