FORMER world champion Jason Doyle will captain Swindon Robins through their 2019 SGB Premiership campaign.

Doyle, 33, was confirmed as team manager Alun Rossiter’s first winter signing back in November after it was announced that the Australian’s former club – Somerset Rebels – were to drop down a tier into the Championship for the coming campaign.

The captaincy role was contested by Doyle and his compatriot Troy Batchelor, who will return to the Abbey Stadium for a sixth season overall after enjoying a successful return to the club in 2018.

Rossiter expects Doyle’s role as Robins skipper to benefit the likes of youngsters Zach Wajtknecht and James Shanes – who will fill the Wiltshire side’s reserve positions next season.

With four seasons of Grand Prix racing under his belt, Doyle has established himself as one of speedway’s prolific riders.

And helping the club’s younger riders is something Doyle himself is keen to work on following his year away from Swindon.

Rossiter said: “There were two candidates for the role – it would have been Jason or Troy.

“I had a conversation with Jason where we discussed about him helping the youngsters and it proved successful.

“The youngsters need to take on board what he tells them.

“I know that Jason is a big fan of Zach. He is one of the few young lads that will sit down and take words on board. He’s polite too, which makes it easy.

“When we discussed the captaincy role with Jason initially, he wasn’t too keen. However, we had a few more conversations and he said he would be honoured to take the role as captain.

“He will lead by example, I’m confident he is capable.”

It’s now less than two months until the Robins start their 2019 campaign as they look to regain the Premiership title they lost to Poole Pirates last season.

Off-track preparations for the new season are nearing completion, with the club expected to hand over race suits in the coming weeks.

The Robins start their season with a home meeting against Belle Vue Aces on Thursday, April 11, before travelling to Wolverhampton Wolves the following Monday.

Rossiter said: “We’re 50 days away now. The racesuits are almost ready, we’re kitting the guys out and making them look right.

“It’s the calm before the storm at the moment.”