ROBINS boss Alun Rossiter believes he will know an awful lot more about his new-look side by the end of heat 15 of tonight’s Elite Shield clash with Poole.
The latest Swindon septet take to the track together for the first time this evening against a Pirates side which includes 2012 world champion Chris Holder in place of regular number one Darcy Ward.
The winter rule changes which have seen National League riders brought in at reserve, along with a new race format, means Rossiter still has plenty to find out about his side.
“It’s a good meeting for us because Poole always put a good side together so it will be a very tough test and a good marker for us to see how we are going to do,” he said.
“We want to know where we’re at and this is the perfect chance although it’s a serious meeting. We hold the trophy too so we want to win it to keep hold of it.
“We will know what works and what doesn’t and where we need to improve and that’s very important.”
Tonight is a big night for Purton’s Darryl Ritchings as he makes his debut for the club he has watched since he was able to walk, and while Rossiter has backed the young reserve to cope with the occasion he is wary he may need to help motivate the teenager.
“Darryl is a pretty laid back sort of character who I think I might need to wind up a little, I think he might benefit from that some times and that’s my job,” he said.
“Some people need that and some people don’t but you can tell by the way people look and the way they talk about things.
“I don’t think he will get wrapped up in the occasion although I do think he might feel quite nervous when it comes to it.
“He’s going to be racing another Swindon lad, Lee Smart, who I’m sure will want to put one over on us in front of all his friends and family.”
Rossiter is also pleased to see Holder make what could be his only appearance at the Abbey this season.
“This could be the only time he rides at Swindon this year so I’m sure lots of people will be up there watching,” he said.
“Darcy has some other commitments in Poland I think but we are more than happy for Chris to step in.”