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A Matter of Opinion....Mark Ramsey....30/03/2003

Mark is a Somerset Rebels fan

Who are you tipping for this year's Premier League title?

Workington certainly look very strong. If they have a weakness it's probably Aidan Collins in a second string position. Their reserves may also struggle away from home but they have such a good top four that they will win more than they lose. Exeter may also do well this year as they're not going to lose at home and will pick up the majority of the bonus points, that could actually be enough to win the league.

What are the prospects for Somerset this season?

We will finish fairly low down in the league. If Mario was fit then I'd be a lot more confident. We simply don't have enough backing for Mark and Glenn. Perhaps changes will be made once Mark and Stefan Katt get new averages, but that may be too late to have a positive impact on the season. After the winter we suffered it's just good to have a team to support.

Mario Jirout

Has Premier League racing lived up to the expectations you had of it?

The standard of skill on display is certainly far greater than the Conference. Whether it's actually more entertaining or not is entirely down to personal opinion - I'd say it definitely is. The Conference days were good times but I think the fan base would have dwindled away if we hadn't gone Premier.

What lessons can be learned from the success of Somerset?

That it's possible to build a new stadium without breaking the bank. I think our track is also an example to other clubs as it's always well prepared. One key aspect you have to get right is publicising the club well in the local area. I think that's something that the Rebels did well in the early days, if people don't know you exist then you're not going to draw a crowd!

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

Jamie Smith was a big star here during our Conference days. He's still making steady progress and will end up as a regular in the Elite League. It's a big season for him at Swindon as he needs to make the breakthrough to a heatleader position. Another that's impressed me is Edward Kennett. He has been given an awful lot of publicity but I think it's justified. The only concern I have for him is the high level of expectation that already surrounds him, I hope that doesn't adversely affect him.


This article was first published on 30/03/2003

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