Lyon blast at BSPA

TEAM Great Britain boss Rob Lyon has attacked the BSPA management committee for their “short-sighted” approach to the national side.

TEAM Great Britain boss Rob Lyon has attacked the BSPA management committee for their “short-sighted” approach to the national side.

King’s Lynn team manager Lyon took over the Lions reins from Jim Lynch ahead of the 2009 campaign and picked a youthful squad for Event Two of the Speedway World Cup featuring SGP star Chris Harris, Edward Kennett, Lewis Bridger, Tai Woffinden and Danny King.

Lee Richardson was drafted in the team for the Race-Off. But there was no spot for the out-of-form Scott Nicholls and Simon Stead.

Lyon was determined to give some of the nation’s younger stars their chance to shine on the world stage.

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But he abandoned his youth experiment last term in favour of bringing Nicholls, Richardson and Stead back into his first five, as Kennett, Bridger and King all missed out.

His decision took Team GB to victory in Event Two and they reached their first SWC Final in three years. But Lyon is concerned about the national side’s long-term prospects and feels the BSPA have given him little support in the search for new British talent.

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He told the Speedway Star: “Although we probably had more success in 2010, we picked a slightly different team with a different thought process – it was a disaster in a lot of ways.

“We didn’t progress anywhere near where I wanted to go to, we didn’t put in place any of the issues that I felt were a problem for us that we needed to address, sort out and move forward to help the young riders come through.

“What I want to see is a structure in place where we’ve got under-15s, under-21s and seniors, so we’ve got a clear path for the kids to come through to ultimately make the national side a success again, while at the same time producing British riders for Elite and Premier teams.

“That’s how I saw the set-up. Unfortunately, the current management committee don’t seem to see that at all and have a different view of what they see my role being, or the role of a GB team manager.

“They seem to see my role as one person who picks the team and looks after the senior squad for one week.

“That to me is very short-sighted and frustrating. I feel that we have gone backwards; we haven’t really progressed since 2009. The first year was quite hopeful and progressive, but it hasn’t moved forward.”

Team GB’s win over Australia, Sweden and Finland at King’s Lynn last year brought the house down and injected fresh pride back into British speedway as a whole.

But Lyon admits little has been done to help the riders who missed out on the 2010 squad establish themselves as international riders.

He added: “The reason I picked that team in 2010 was because I felt we were getting nowhere with what we wanted to put in place going on from 2009. It was purely and simply to win at King’s Lynn, get into the final and try to win a medal – very short-term thinking.

“If I’m honest, I am a little bit sad that I had to go down that route. I would have very much liked to have kept one or two of the youngsters in there.

“The reason I didn’t was because one or two went backwards, or lacked that commitment because they’ve had no additional guidance, no more help and support that they needed to go forward.

“Some will only go so far, some will not want to know and that’s fine. But the ones that do, we could have made something out of them.”

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