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SWINDON ROBINS: GRAND FINAL PREVIEW: Robins in a great position, says Batchelor
TROY Batchelor believes the Robins are perfectly equipped to take advantage of the lack of fire power at the bottom end of the Poole side when the two teams face-off this evening.
The Pirates’ top three of Chris Holder, Darcy Ward and Krzysztof Kasprzak finished the regular season at the top of the Elite League averages, but much has been made of the comparative weakness of the bottom end of their team.
The Dorset side are expected to be without heavy-scoring second string Piotr Pawlicki for at least the first leg, and Batchelor is convinced the Robins’ strength in depth gives them an edge over the Pirates.
“It has been close between us this season, but they have a strong top three and we have a good one to seven,” he said.
“Steady (Simon Stead) got a maximum on Thursday and Peter (Kildemand) got a maximum in the first leg of the semi-final, so that shows exactly what everyone is capable of.
“We are a good team and we have strength just where we need it, and we are strong all the way through the team.
“If either me or Hans has a bad night then there is always someone who steps up to cover us, but if any of Poole’s top guys have a bad night, then there is no-one there.
“Either Chris or Darcy can easily have a bad night on Monday and there will be nothing Poole can do about it, and they could get hammered because they have no back up.”
“If they were without Pawlicki it would be better for us, but we can only race who is there on the night so we can’t be worrying about who is going to turn up and who is not.”
Batchelor has yet to taste success in the Elite League, but believes the influence of team manager Alun Rossiter could help him finally achieve his goal and end the Robins’ near 50-year wait for a national crown.
“I have won Premier League titles and Knock-Out Cups and things like that, but I have yet to win a gold medal in the Elite League, so it would be amazing to do it now for Swindon.
“I have been with Rosco before and he always wants to win, and even though he is not riding he tries to fire us up and get us going.
“He has obviously won it before at Coventry and he is there for us all whenever we need him, so we have the goods to do it I’m sure.
“We have a good one to seven, and sometimes you just need that little bit of motivation or a bit of a kick if you have had a couple of bad rides, so Rosco will be important for sure.”
“Everything that has happened throughout the year so far doesn’t really matter now, because no-one really remembers second place.
“Maybe Swindon remembers second because they have been there so many times, so we really want to win something for the club to end that record.
“There has been such a drought between gold medals for the club, and we all want it so badly both for the club and for us as riders.”