As the new SGB Premiership season gets under starter's orders, Swindon Robins team manager Alun Rossiter gives the lowdown on his 2017 squad.

WE’RE all looking forward to the new season getting under way and I am sure it’s going to be an exciting year.

We missed out on the play-offs last year so we’d like to get back into them this year – that’s the plan anyway.

It was unfortunate to miss out and I still believe the team was good enough to do it, but for some strange reason, we just never clicked as a seven.

We have made a few changes to our team this year but missing out on the play-offs had no effect on what I did.

There have been changes to rider average rules and other teams, like Somerset, owned certain riders and they are now up in the league with us.

Everybody knows the headaches we have had with team building when it comes to rider averages. I have made it quite clear what I think of the way Jason Doyle and Nick Morris’ averages were adjusted.

We are fighting an uphill battle but we know what we get from Jason. He comes in on a very high average but he is still the out and out number one in our team and probably in the league as well.

That average is not a burden for Jason.

He is good enough to be the number one dog in this league, it’s as simple as that.

What he brings to our team speaks for itself and he has matured and got even better and he and I have got an even better relationship now than we have ever had.

With Nick, we know his potential is there, that’s why we brought him here in the first place.

By his standards, he didn’t have the best of seasons last year but he still ended up as a heat leader and people forget that.

It is a big year for Nick now and I am hoping that he is going to come to the party.

This year we have brought Adam Ellis in.

We know what he can do and I believe he can go forwards for us. I think Adam will surprise a few people, and so will David Bellego.

I have got great belief in those two and high expectations for them as well.

As for the rest of the guys, it’s now up to them to kick on and I really do think they can make a big difference for us.

People have written us off already and I saw the predictions Jon Cook made in Speedway Star magazine. Funnily enough, I was with Jon on Wednesday and he said: ‘Sadly mate, I have put you down for last’.

That doesn’t bother me and hopefully it can spur the riders on.

It’s hard to say which teams are going to be the ones to watch at this stage of the season. There are a lot teams that look okay on paper, we will only know once the racing starts.

We lost four home meetings last year and I think it was the one to Leicester that cost us more than anything when it came to missing out on the play-offs.

We have got to win at home – that is the key thing, keeping the home fans happy.