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SWINDON ROBINS: England's pain is Robins' gain
IT’S been a strange old season for Swindon so far.
Impressive on the track both home and away, the Robins have swept to second place in the Elite League and have given leaders Poole definite cause to be concerned.
But the club’s main enemy this year has been the weather. On no less than 11 occasions, league meetings have been postponed due to rain, meaning fixtures have been pushed back and July and August are now significantly busier than they were initially.
However, there are signs that the Abbey Stadium side are set for a change of luck.
The hierarchy were due to call off Swindon’s home meeting against Wolverhampton this Thursday had England progressed to the semi-finals at Euro 2012 - which were to be played on the same night - but Sunday evening’s penalty shootout defeat to Italy means the Robins’ meeting will be staged as scheduled.
Swindon boss Alun Rossiter, a proud England fan, was downhearted to see his country exit another major tournament on spot kicks, but said now the speedway team have been presented with the ideal chance to kick on in 2012.
“I’m obviously disappointed to see England go out, but that’s the way it goes,” he said.
“We didn’t get forward and they had the majority of the play, and we can’t argue that we lost on penalties because we didn’t have any possession.
“From Swindon’s point of view, we’re desperate for meetings because the revenue that comes in is our income.
“Hopefully things can pick up now in terms of the number of home meetings we complete. We’re OK at the moment but we can’t afford to have many more.
“I’m more than happy with the way things are going but just frustrated about the lack of meetings.
“I’m not worried about us considering we’ve only done four home meetings, because we’re second in the league with the majority of our home matches to come.
“The technical, tricky little tracks we’ve got out of the way, and now we’ve got the likes of King’s Lynn and Peterborough which we should all be good on.”
Robins co-boss Gary Patchett also revealed his relief that the Blunsdon side will take on the Wolves on Thursday - weather permitting - even if like Rossiter he is a Three Lions supporter.
“It will be good to get back into action at home, it’s been a long time,” he said.
“Whilst I was disappointed to see England go out, I must admit I’m relishing the prospect of a home meeting on Thursday and I’m sure everyone else is.”
Swindon reserve Robin Aspegren is riding in Sweden on Thursday so a guest will come in.
Meanwhile, Great Britain - who have included Swindon’s Simon Stead in their World Cup squad - have been drawn against Australia, the Czech Republic and Germany in event two at King’s Lynn.
The meeting will take place on Monday, July 9.