CHAMPIONS: Hans hails Swindon's unity
10:57am Friday 26th October 2012 in By Andy Warren, Deputy sports editor, firstname.lastname@example.org, @AndyWarren_
SKIPPER Hans Andersen believes the superb team spirit in the Robins camp played a major part in their Elite League title success.
The Blunsdon side capped a magnificent season with victory over Poole in the grand final on Monday night, bringing to an end the 45-year wait for a top-flight crown.
The Swindon riders gelled quickly after team manager Alun Rossiter assembled a new look squad over the winter, and Andersen was impressed with the way they all worked to together.
“It was a tremendous achievement and it is something we worked all season for, and to lift the cup for ourselves and for the fans was an amazing thing after waiting for 45 years,” he said.
“We had so much support home and away so it was nice to give something back.
“We may not have been the best team on paper, but we were definitely the best team in spirit.
“We had a team from one to seven who were capable of winning races, and unlike Poole we didn’t have to rely on the heat leaders to get a maximum every meeting. Team spirit makes a big difference and maybe gives every rider a 10-20 per cent boost on the track, and I think we let ourselves down in the first leg of the final because we could have had more than a seven-point lead.
“We didn’t have very good spirit that night, but it didn’t matter in the end because we are the champions.”
Andersen has now achieved the rare feat of captaining two Elite League clubs to the title, but the Dane has given the credit to the rest of the team and the club’s management.
“If you look at someone like Greg Hancock he has won so many things in his life but never the Elite League, and I have won it twice.
“It is a special feeling to win the league again, and it is not an easy thing to do.
“I made a very important decision before I signed with Gary (Patchett, co-promoter) at the beginning of the season that I wanted to be in a competitive team, and we spoke about riders and who we were going to get, and everyone has done a great job.”
The former Grand Prix rider is hopeful of a return to the Abbey Stadium if next season’s rules allow, but believes he will start the new campaign well wherever he ends up.
“In the last third of the season I have been performing well all over Europe which is good, and I think I will be a lot better prepared to start next season wherever I end up riding,” he said.
“Of course I would like to stay but we never really know what the rules are going to be, but we will see.
“In all the years I have come to Swindon as an away rider I have always been made to feel at home, and I have enjoyed myself even better in a team like ours.”
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