A Matter of Opinion....Alan Robins....17/03/2002
Alan Robins was originally an Ellesmere Port fan but now lives on the South Coast and supports Eastbourne.
How well will Eastbourne cope without Martin Dugard?
He'll certainly be missed as both a captain and a rider. I've heard it said that he'll be impossible to replace around Arlington. That's not a view I agree with at all. If you look at his home average for last season you'll see it was less than nine. I'm sure Mark Loram will be able top the nine point mark this year.
Are there any riders absent this year that you'll particularly miss?
It's a pity that Kaj Laukannen won't be riding. He's always provided good entertainment when he's been on Sky. I'm also disappointed that Brent Collyer hasn't been picked up by somebody. He's a real trier and deserves a decent run somewhere. Perhaps he's not eligible for a work permit anyway?
Who will win the Elite League?
Wolverhampton look very good, especially if David Howe can adapt to Monmore Green. If Wolves don't do it then Belle Vue just might. Jason Crump will win races everywhere, Lyons will add a point and a half to his average and Karger is a better rider than he's often given credit for. Add in Sam Ermolenko and Matty Ferjan and it's not a bad side. Sadly I don't think Eastbourne will win enough away matches to really challenge.
Should the Golden Helmet be revived?
Not really bothered to be honest. We already see the top riders competing against each other so often that I don't know if it would be the attraction it once was. I'm sure the top riders wouldn't be prepared to travel to take part in a couple of match races anyway. I certainly wouldn't be willing to pay any extra to watch it.
Is Joe Screen correct to avoid the Grand Prix Qualifying rounds?
It's entirely up to Joe. I'm disappointed as I'd have enjoyed seeing him in the series but there are no guarantees that he would have re-qualified. It's probably wise if he concentrates on regaining full fitness this season and tries the GP again in a year or two.
This article was first published prior to October 2002
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