Anyway, after a slightly disappointing end to the 2018 season, we need to now stop being negative, let the work behind the scenes happen and look forward to 2019, which we have been told is all systems go!! As for the team this year, this is my opinions as how they performed and if I would like to see them back or not:
1. Stuart Robson - Only fitting I mention this legend first. Even as a mackem, he has become one of the most loved riders in Newcastle's recent history, it seems it's a good time for him to retire however, while he's still on a relative high. It's tiring watching some riders go well into their 40s almost ruining their legend status by whimpering down to a 3 point average before throwing in the towel. I would like to thank Robbo for all he has done not only for Newcastle speedway, but the sport as a whole, good luck in the future Obviously, not for my 2019 team
2. Tero Aarnio - By far been our stand out rider this season imo, he's the first name George and the promotion need to pursue, and they'd be daft if they didn't, the only way I don't see the 'baby faced assasin' back in our side is if a Polish team comes calling, or another team pays him more. Great little rider and he riders Brough AND away tracks very well, Would be really nice to partner him with someone else (dunno who yet) at 3 and 4, rather than at number 5, which to be fair, is a big ask for him (even if he rode ok there at points this year) Definitely for my 2019 team, pllleeeaasse
3. Ashley Morris - What a great, hardworking rider Ash is, he's been asked this year to ride in positions very high for his current ability, number 3 most recently, and he's performed ok in this role, if somehow, next year we manage to sign him as a reserve or a number 2 with a big hitting number 1, of course I'd love to see him back in Diamonds colours!! He seemed very keen and very grateful to the promotion on Sunday night when interviewed, so I'd be more surprised not seeing him back. Another definitely back for me
4. Matej Kus - Seemed to be a controversial signing a few moths back, but in my opinion it was good at the time. He has proved no one right though, as he's come in and done an ok/average job. He rode very well for us a few years ago at number 3 and if he could have replicated that, he'd have been a great signing. The only things Matej has going for him imo is that he is an asset, and his average is very small so he could be used at number 2 maybe? Having said this, sorry Matej, there's other similar riders I'd like to see over you, good luck, wherever you are next year
5. Ludvig Lindgren - Been my favourite Diamond for a few years now... But I feel he may have been knocked off by a certain Finn However, people still know my opinion of him, and if rumours of last Friday night are true, then that's very disappointing, but imo, the team just wouldn't be the same if Ludvig wasn't there, who would the keyboard warriors complain about then??? Another rider who i'd like to see back (As a second string!! Not number 1 or 5)
6. Matthew Wethers - No question for me, Matthew has ridden his socks off all season, which is what I expected when he was announced over the winter, people didn't seem so sure of his signing, but I think he has silenced them, specifically with his recent performances out on track. Was a little bit race rusty at the beginning of the season, as you'd expect, but since then, he's been a hard trying points scoring machine down at number 7!! Please come back next year
7. Carl Wilkinson - No one can complain about the effort Wilko puts in from start to finish of every race he's in, maybe he tries a little too hard as he's constantly on his arse trying to overtake when it's better for the team to settle in position!! However Carl has been great this year and I really have enjoyed watching him throw the bike into them corners, almost desperate to get past the rider ahead of him, he seems to have a good presence in the pits also, protecting his teammates from wild grizzlies further down the a19 and his never give up[ attitude. I'd like to thank Wilko for his services this year, he's been great at reserve. The only way however I'd want him in my 2019 team is if Wethers moves elsewhere OR we can still fit him in after completing our other 6. Hope to see you in 2019 Carl, would hate to see you left out of every team, but maybe as a visitor or on my occasional trips to Buxton?
8. Lewis Rose - Thanks Lewis for your time as a Diamond over the last couple of seasons and also coming in at the last minute at the beginning of the season to bail us out. I know you've retired from speedway now, and who knows if you'll ever be back, but good luck in your future and have a safe time, whatever you chose to do.
My first 4 names for the team would be:
1. Tero Aarnio (Number 3?)
2. Ashley Morris (Number 2 or 7 - he needs his heat 8 wins)
3. Matthew Wethers (Number 7??? or 2 - whoever has a smaller average between him and Ash)
4. Ludvig Lindgren (Another number 2 option? or 4 partnered with Tero?)
If ones a reserve, 2 are second strings and maybe Tero is the number 3, we could build a decent side around them
P.S. Rene come back!!