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SWINDON ROBINS: GRAND FINAL PREVIEW: Stead keen to play a major role
SIMON Stead is desperate to play his part in bringing the Elite League title to Blunsdon to repay the Swindon fans for sticking by him during a difficult campaign.
While the Robins flew to second place in the regular season table Stead slipped backwards from heat leader to reserve by the time the play-offs got underway, but stormed to a four-ride maximum in the semi-final second leg victory over Birmingham on Thursday night.
During a British racing career which has spanned close to 15 years the Elite League is the only team title to evade the Yorkshireman, and Stead is keen to complete his set and give something back to the Blunsdon faithful.
“I have been riding speedway in Britain for a long time now, and the Elite League title is the only thing I haven’t managed to win yet,” he said.
“I have Youth Development League titles, Conference League titles and I have won the Premier League, and the Elite League is the only one missing, so it would mean everything to me.
“Swindon has been a massive part of my life for the last four years, so if I could do it to repay the fans after the tough year I have had that would be great.
“We have such tremendous backing here and the fans have been awesome, even when we were having such a tough year last year. They kept coming back to support us, and they have been waiting a long time for some silverware - if I could play a part in bringing some success to the club it would mean everything.”
Stead is expecting two tough meetings against a Poole side containing the top three riders in the Elite League averages, but the reserve believes he needs to forget about the nightmare season which has led up to the final.
“We know the job in hand and we are clear on exactly what we have to do, and the slate is wiped clean now,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what has gone on now, who did what and who scored what this year, and it all starts from scratch and the next two Mondays are where it counts.
“We made the play-offs and got through the semi-final and now we are in the final, and now we are here it is two meetings to shape the season.
“I will be knuckling down and making sure my job is done, and I will do whatever I can to help out the rest of the guys if I am needed to.
“It is going to be a tough two meetings, and we will give them all of the respect that they deserved, because they finished top even though we ran them close.
“It is two well matched sides and there is going to be fireworks for sure.”