ALUN Rossiter has made the boldest statement he possibly could to Swindon Robins’ six SGB Premiership rivals by retaining Troy Batchelor’s services for 2020.

Many fans feared the talented Australian – who raced at world championship level six seasons ago – had raced himself out of a job at the Abbey Stadium after top-flight promoters froze the 2019 points limit at 42.5 per team at the recent AGM.

Having accumulated a green sheet average of 8.75 at Premiership level in Robins’ history-making campaign that ended last month, it was presumed by some that Robins boss Rossiter would be forced into dropping either club captain Jason Doyle or Batchelor during the off-season.

But Swindon’s 54-year-old team manager decided to reward Batchelor’s loyalty to the club in recent years by offering him a fresh contract.

Yesterday, it was confirmed that Doyle had agreed to stay at Blunsdon for another year. News of Batchelor’s signing will therefore take many by pleasant surprise.

The 32-year-old even admitted he was a little shocked when he learnt Rossiter wanted him back in his team – which will start the defence of their Premiership and Supporters’ Cup crowns in April.

Batchelor told the Adver: “Everything about Swindon works for me - from the fans to the track and getting paid on time.

“I was sitting there hoping my average wasn’t too high. There aren’t many other teams I would want to race for.

“There was a chance I could fit into other teams, but I didn’t want to ride anywhere else. It hasn’t come to that, and Rosco (Alun Rossiter) has managed to fit me in which is awesome.

“I’m very pleased because I couldn’t see myself going anywhere else.”

Returning at number five, Batchelor will once again form a formidable partnership with Doyle in heats 13 and 15 next term.

Dubbed the ‘nightmare twins’ by Rossiter, Batchelor added that he is relishing the prospect of riding with 2017 world champion Doyle once again.

He added: “Myself and Jason Doyle in heats 13 and 15 is a strong finish.

“That’s what we planned for in 2019 and it worked great.

“We had a lot of strong finishes and sometimes that was important in us winning meetings. It’s the same plan for next year.

“I know how the team is shaping up, and it’s looking good.”