TWO world championship silver medals, five world finals and undoubtedly the most successful Great Britain team manager in speedway’s modern-era – not bad for a lad from Penhill.

But Alun Rossiter has this morning called time on his six-season stint in charge of the national team – and has used the announcement to urge supporters to get behind the British team in future events and avoid posting derogatory comments on social media.

The 54-year-old, who took over from Neil Middleditch prior to the 2014 World Cup, guided Great Britain to within inches of world championship glory at last year’s Speedway of Nations Final in Wroclaw, Poland, when missing out to Russia in the competition’s inaugural grand final.

Other highlights for Rossiter include GB’s silver medal at the 2016 World Cup on home shale in Manchester, and their memorable triumph over great rivals Australia in Event One of the 2017 World Cup at King’s Lynn.

But all good things must come to an end, and Rossiter – also manager of the Swindon Robins – admits fans’ overreaction to Great Britain’s performance in Togliatti, Russia, at this year’s Speedway of Nations Final played a key part in his decision.

Rossiter told the Adver: “After Russia, I first thought about resigning.

“Not because of what happened at the Speedway of Nations Final, more because of the reaction from some people who clearly don’t know what is going on behind the scenes.

“There was a total over-reaction – our riders didn’t travel all the way to Russia to under-perform.

“People made statements instead of getting behind the team, some said the team has gone backwards.

“But we lost Tai (Woffinden), and Robert (Lambert) and Craig (Cook) crashed in the opening race – who can pull that back.”

Besides the frustrations that followed last month’s world championship final in Russia, Rossiter stated it was a great honour to serve his country – adding that he left the GB role with his head held high.

The future for British speedway certainly looks brighter now compared to five years ago when Rossiter first took charge.

Neil Vatcher’s relentless work behind the scenes earned the former GB boss’ praise – with riders such as Drew Kemp, Leon Flint and Kyle Bickley making positive strides.

But reaching a level where the national team can compete for world championship gold is still very much a long-term plan.

Rossiter added: “The future looks bright, but Great Britain are still a few years away from being where they want to be.

“If Tai can’t ride, you’re then relying on Robert and Craig – then it gets a bit thin.

“You’ve got the likes of Drew Kemp coming through, but he’s still a few years away from being where Robert is.

“That’s not a criticism – just a statement of fact.”