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A Matter of Opinion....Calum Macaulay....09/03/2002

This week Calum Macaulay is in the hot seat. Calum has followed Glasgow Tigers on and off since 1967. In the early 1970s he was, in his own words, "Scotland's worst junior". In recent times he's been pusher, raker, pits marshal and programme columnist at Glasgow.

Do you think Eastbourne acted dishonourably in bringing in Mark Loram in place of Krzyzstof Cegielski ?

I think speedway is first and foremost an entertainment business. I thought Cegelski's racing was excellent entertainment but I feel that there is no finer sight in speedway than Mark Loram (Malta's Number One!) in full flight. I don't know the ins and outs of what happened regarding Kryzstof's place at Eastbourne but I know that the Eagles management are progressive having previously bought another exciting British talent Joe Screen to Eastbourne. If it was my team I would find it very difficult to make a choice between the two but in my opinion and on balance the British (or Maltese) option is probably the best one.

Louis Carr has been appointed National Training Officer for the UK. What should his priorities be ?

Louis Carr's priorities should be to secure adequate funding to promote a truly nationwide training programme. To do so he will need trusted lieutenants in the different regions of the UK. I would suggest somebody like Alan Robertson in Scotland. Guys like Alan and boys that have ran similar set ups can advise on the practicalities of training. He should try to break down barriers in speedway and actively encourage promoters to run as many second half races and after meeting practices as possible in order to encourage youth. There is nothing more disheartening than waiting all night for a second half outing that never comes. He should also try to promote youth teams and youth racing. Promoters fear loss of earnings due to low crowds at such meetings but if Louis had the funding he could have such meetings subsidised and who knows they might just catch on with the fans and attract the crowds they deserve.

The GP Calendar has been extended to ten dates. Is this too many ?

I think that there is a very big danger that there will be speedway and the GP i.e. two separate entities. I was at Cardiff for the 'Welsh' GP and apart from the old BLRC at Hyde Road it was the best speedway meeting I have ever attended however some of the televised GP's were not brilliant principally because the tracks did not measure up (Cardiff had problems also but it was still a highly entertaining meeting). I am certain having seen the set up that the GP people provide that they will eventually end up with a highly polished product and British speedway will have to 'keep up' if it is to survive. Ten GP's too many? Not if we measure up and produce just as highly polished a product as BSI does that is the challenge that faces British speedway.

Which young riders should we watch out for in this year's Premier League ?

Simon Stead is the most exciting talent in the world never mind in British speedway. I feel a buzz watching him that I have not experienced for years. He is very fast and most importantly very exciting to watch. Barring injury or misfortune he will be the number one in the premier league this season. Danny Bird is also very promising as is Chris Neath but for me Steady is the man.

If you were stuck on a desert island with one Speedway video - which one would it be ?

I would watch endless re-runs of the Millennium Stadium GP in order to remember the excitement generated, the noise, the atmosphere and the feeling that at last my 'Cinderella' sport had finally got to the ball. Edwin Starr singing WAR, the first race victory for Scotty Nicholls and the second for Stoney pure poetry. An ending that saw Tony, Crumpie and Gollob on the rear of trucks dancing to Status Quo I just cant wait for this years offering lead me to it.


This article was first published prior to October 2002

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