ALUN Rossiter is pleased to have retained the majority of his 2017 SGB Premiership-winning side, suggesting continuity helps the team’s identity.

Although Rossiter has lost the services of world champion Jason Doyle, the Robins boss confirmed the return of several riders during the winter.

Adam Ellis, Nick Morris, Tobiasz Musielak, Zach Wajtknecht and David Bellego were all part of last year’s title-winning team and Rossiter, 52, believes continuity is something British speedway’s top league lacks.

“I wanted to keep as much of last year’s team as I could,” he said. “Nowadays with the rules there’s no continuity and fans can’t relate to the riders. I feel that’s what’s missing sometimes.

“Fans get used to a rider and the following season he’s gone. When I look at my team I’ve tried my best to keep riders from last year.”

One rule change made during the winter’s AGM did end any hopes the Robins had of welcoming world champion Doyle back to the Abbey Stadium.

As of this season, Premiership clubs can only include one rider with an average of eight, or higher, in their team.

It meant either Doyle or Morris had to depart, with Doyle moving on to ride for Somerset Rebels.

Rossiter said: “Jason’s a massive loss to the club. You can’t underestimate what he brought to the team.

“The guy was broken at times last year and he still marched on when most would’ve had a few weeks off. But that’s not in Jason’s nature.

“It helped other riders think ‘if he can do that I need to pull my finger out a bit’. He set an example and although he wasn’t fit, he was still scoring points. The other guys felt like they had to do the same.

“Jason changed his lifestyle, it wasn’t a matter of one season it just clicked for him.

“He changed the way he did things and now he’s the ultimate professional. He trains hard and doesn’t drink much. He’s focused on what he wants.”

The Robins open their season with a two-legged Charity Shield against Manchester’s Belle Vue Aces on Monday and Thursday of next week.

Premiership action gets under way on Thursday, March 29, at home against Leicester Lions before away trips to Wolverhampton Wolves (April 9) and Poole Pirates (April 18) follow.

Rossiter said: “We’ve got a good challenge when we go to Belle Vue to see where we’re at. They’ve got a very good team.

“The usual suspects will compete. Poole are always good even though they didn’t have the best run last year. They generally put good sides together, they’ve got strong reserves.

“But our top five is good. I genuinely don’t worry about anybody else. I worry about myself and think what do I need to improve and where do the riders need to step up.”