SWINDON Robins will face a near-impossible task this weekend when they travel to Eastbourne without number one Peter Kildemand.
The Dane is heading to Slovakia to ride in a qualifying round for the European Championship (SEC) on Saturday and, given the competition is not recognised by the British speedway authorities, Robins’ boss Alun Rossiter will not be granted a guest facility nor will he be able to use rider replacement.
Instead, just as was the case last season when the Robins were forced to replace former captain Hans Andersen with Lewis Blackbird at King’s Lynn for similar reasons, Rossiter’s only option is to use up to a six-point guest from the Premier League.
Coventry found themselves in the same boat at Arlington last weekend due to Andersen’s participation in the SEC qualifying stages and, while Rossiter contacted the Danish union (DMU) to try and switch his former captain and Kildemand’s SEC commitments around, suiting both riders and their clubs, he had no joy.
The Robins boss is yet to settle on a second tier guest at number one but knows his side face an uphill task whoever he picks - although he’s trying to remain positive.
“Peter was only informed three weeks ago about where he was going this weekend and it was hard to change things around,” Rossiter said.
“I rang the DMU guys a couple of weeks ago to try and swap the meeting around but nothing could be worked out.
“This doesn’t do Eastbourne’s business any good either. Two weeks in a row now they are going to have teams going down there without a number one and with a six-point Premier League rider in their place. That’s not attractive for anyone to watch.
“I’m not prepared to get Peter banned by taking a facility because we have to look at the bigger picture. In fairness to Peter he only knew three weeks ago where he was going and we tried to sort it and they (DMU) wouldn’t budge.
“It’s always difficult going there because they are always very strong, but this year they are going to be nigh on unbeatable at home.
“Saying that, you have to go there with some positivity and some hope but this does make it so much more difficult.”
Before travelling to the south coast on Saturday the Robins host Leicester Lions at the Abbey Stadium on Thursday evening.