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Dick Barrie's picture

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The signing of THJ left me a teeny-weeny bit disappointed.

Not, under any circumstances do I mean I have any kind of doubt whatsoever over the racing abilities of Thomas.

He’s a very nice lad who I had the pleasure of picking up at Glasgow Airport a couple of times to take to Armadale as a favour for the Monarchs.

During these journeys I certainly formed an unchanged opinion that he is of the right stuff – and I know he’ll fit in very nicely indeed with our Bandits’ ‘family’.

So, why the disappointment?

Och, just because we were so close to going through the whole season with the seven riders chosen by the promotion at the start of the year – proving how, when you knit the right team together in the spring it is simply not necessary to make wholesale changes to your squad every time the averages change, just ‘because we can’…..

But the season-ending injuries sustained by Spud and Buskie put Jamie and his promotional team between a rock and a hard place.

Yes, they could have seen out their remaining five matches without changing the 1-7 and using guests or rider-replacement – and there are clubs that would.

They could have picked up a couple of unambitious journeymen who might have filled the race-jackets but done little to enhance our league position or excite our faithful followers – and there are clubs that would..

But instead they went for the bold alternative, and brought back to British racing a star name, a former Swedish champion, a rider with at least one Grand Prix semi-final (that I can recall) on his CV, and someone who has the crowd-pulling potential to allow us to end the term of trading with a bit of a bang.

Yes, I’m disappointed we had to make the change -- but really pleased that, given the inevitability of the situation, we have made the change we did! Go Thomas!

He’ll debut in black-and-gold on Wednesday at Birmingham, and with Ben Barker (a former Bandit) coming in to wear #1 in place of Spud, I don't think we can consider ourselves weakened by the changes.

The Brummies, who failed to capitalise on our misfortunes on Saturday, will also have a change as Tom Perry is coming back to replace Jordan Jenkins. Meaning that Birmingham have now made SEVENTEEN changes to the Perry Barr 1-7 this season, with a special mention for Tobias Thomsen, who is now back where he started in March!

As I said above, I’m disappointed we’ve had ONE change absolutely forced upon us – if I were a Brummie-fan, I don’t think disappointment would be the word that’d spring to mind…….

But back on the bright side, Thomas – that’s with an ‘H’ – makes his home debut on Saturday night on a night with a whole lot going for it.

There’s Newcastle, for a start. We owe them one – and our Banditos like to pay their debts in full!

Plus, at the interval, riders from both teams will be circulating with their buckets, taking up the annual collection for the SRBF. We won’t be raising objections if you give generously!

But wait, there’s more – after Heat 15 we’ll be drawing the first monthly 5-1 prize-winning numbers, for the £500 and £100 that’ll be up for grabs every month – available only to those who have subscribed, of course.

Got your number yet?

Even more? Yip, there sure is! The final mini-match at NJL level, with our Academy boys taking on Ashfield’s young Giants for six extra races (no extra cost, of course) to finish off what has every prospect of being a pretty fine Saturday night.

See you at the skids?

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Want to disagree with Dick (as so many do?). He is always happy to hear from interesting people at dick@crystalfm.co.uk