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SWINDON ROBINS: Patchett hails Zagar's return to British speedway
SWINDON boss Gary Patchett has welcomed the return of former Robin Matej Zagar to British speedway, and believes a competitive Belle Vue side is exactly what the Elite League needs.
The Slovenian was announced as the Aces’ new number one earlier this week, as the club look to revive their fortunes after finishing rock-bottom of the pile in 2012 with only five wins all season.
He will line-up alongside Craig Cook, Artur Mroczka and Ales Dryml for the Manchester club, with Swedish former Grand Prix star Magnus Zetterström also set to make the move to Kirkmanshulme Lane.
The Robins have explored the possibility of bringing him back to Swindon on a number of occasions following his stint with the club in 2009, and although he has never returned to Wiltshire, Patchett is glad to see him back in Britain.
“Bringing in Zagar makes Belle Vue look a lot stronger than everyone initially thought, and that can only be a good thing,” he said.
“Zagar will bring something to the league as he is a charismatic rider who loves to entertain the supporters.
“Taking my Swindon hat off for a bit you want to every team in the league competing, and to look at the league table at the start of the year and not know which teams are going to make the play-offs.
“That is how it should be, because what is the point of having a handicapping system, like we have with points limits, if it doesn’t have an effect.
“It’s only right the two teams down the bottom should have the chance to strengthen up the following season, and we need 10 strong teams in our league.”
Meanwhile, Swindon number one Hans Andersen is the latest name to be confirmed for the season-opening Bob Kilby Memorial Meeting on March 14.
The Dane finished second in last year’s event, and Patchett didn’t have to think twice about inviting him back this year.
“The meeting wouldn’t be the meeting without the riders from this year’s team, and it’s great Hans will be riding again,” he said.
“He probably would have been the first rider we announced for 2013 had we been allowed to, and there is not much more which needs to be said about him really. He is a great rider, a great captain, and a great guy to have around, and we are lucky to have him.
“We wanted as many of last year’s riders back as possible, and with it being the first meeting since we won the title in October this will be a great chance to celebrate our success and remember one of the greatest riders Swindon has ever had.”
Further riders are set to be announced in the coming days.