TAPES-UP: Farcical Lions meeting to go ahead despite five absences
5:30am Monday 16th June 2014 in By Andy Warren, Deputy sports editor, firstname.lastname@example.org, @AndyWarren_
ROBINS boss Alun Rossiter is struggling to find a second guest ahead of Saturday’s farcical visit to Leicester.
A total of five riders are missing the meeting due to their participation in Grand Prix qualifying on the same day, with the visitors missing Peter Kildemand and Troy Batchelor while the Lions are without Jason Doyle, Mads Korneliussen and newly-signed former Robin Nicolai Klindt.
Rossiter highlighted the likely clash in January in a bid to get the meeting moved but, despite Leicester bosses at one stage suggesting it would be switched to a Thursday night, they instead go ahead as planned.
By the time the Robins boss was informed the meeting would go ahead he quickly discovered the Lions had already booked Bjarne Pedersen and Rory Schlein to replace Doyle and Korneliussen. Davey Watt has already been signed up to guest for Swindon but, with a total of 19 Elite League riders in qualifying action, signing up a second is proving problematic with Tai Woffinden and Scott Nicholls and Michael Jepsen Jensen already ruling themselves out.
“It’s ridiculous,” he said.
“We highlighted this issue all the way back in January and “we’ll look at it, we’ll look at it” is all we’ve kept getting from them.
“Before the last round of qualification I told them there was a good chance of Mads and Doyley making it through, as well as our two, and they told us it would be sorted.
“They came back to me with a date for a Thursday and then said they couldn’t do that because they wouldn’t have Simon Stead (who would be riding for Sheffield) and they then decided to go on the original date.
“Then we immediately went and started to try and find some riders and they had already been booked by Leicester, which makes it impossible because there is already half the Elite League in the qualifiers.
“When people are bottom of the league they’ll do desperate things which is quite sad.”
Despite missing his top two, Rossiter is almost certain to be able to welcome back Dakota North, who missed the loss to Wolverhampton with a knee ligament injury.
“Dak’s gone to Croatia for a week with a mate, on a boat, and he assures me he will be back fit and raring to go which is great news,” Rossiter said.
The Great Britain boss is also disappointed not to be able to help guide British riders Danny King, Craig Cook and Lewis Bridger in qualifying, but insisted his Robins commitments will always come first.
“I’d liked to have gone out with the British boys, having been there for the last round, and I would have probably gone to Gorican with Danny (King) and Craig Cook,” he said.
“My commitments with Swindon come first, of course they do, but it’s frustrating not to be able to go and help. Hopefully they’ll get through.”
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