SWINDON Robins boss Alun Rossiter is happy to see the Elite League regular season finish by the end of August as the sport bids to avoid the fixture pile-up which caused carnage during 2012.
The Robins suffered 21 rain-offs on their way to winning the league title last season, with the play-off final with Poole not finally completed until October 22.
The champions’ final scheduled meeting for the coming season is a provisional clash at Lakeside on August 30, and Rossiter is pleased to see clubs taking measures to avoid the congestion caused by the weather in 2012.
“I didn’t realise it was going to finish quite so early, but obviously it is allowing for rain-offs and everything that happened to us last year,” he said.
“I think it is a very sensible move because you can’t have any guarantees that the weather is going to be any better next season, and we can’t afford to have another season like the one we have just had.
“We all realised that everyone struggled this year, and none of us can afford to run meetings on top of each other like we were doing because in this economic climate you can’t expect fans to keep coming out all the time.”
The Robins will race home and away twice against Birmingham, Lakeside, Peterborough, King’s Lynn and Belle Vue, and only once against Eastbourne, Coventry, Poole and Wolves.
Throughout the season the Robins will face two meetings against the same club just days apart on several occasions, starting with double-header clashes against Lakeside, Birmingham and Peterborough in April.
Swindon were due to open their campaign live on Sky Sports at Lakeside on March 25 but that meeting has been moved to April 5, and Rossiter is expecting the home clash with the Hammers the previous day to be televised instead.
“I think the Lakeside meeting will still be on Sky, and it will take the slot from when the King’s Lynn meeting was supposed to be run,” he said.
“I don’t know why it was changed, but it is just one of those things we have only just found out ourselves.
“I think it is a good idea to run the meetings back to back I think because you can compare the teams a bit more, and then also you get a better indication of the aggregate score.”
The Robins have still not heard any more news regarding the FIM sanctioned European league, with the Belle Vue meeting provisionally pencilled in for May 13 scheduled for one of the Mondays set aside for a home meeting against either a Swedish or Danish side at Blunsdon.