If indeed it is possible to be somewhat disappointed and be bursting with pride all at once, that would be my overall assessment of the Bandits 2018 season.
We missed out on the playoffs by a single point, that’s the disappointing part, but at the same time I can also say that is why I’m extremely proud...it’s a weird one isn’t it?
Written off by most as also-rans and predicted to be the resident whipping boys at the start of the season, the Bandits have far and away exceeded all expectations and that is something we can all be proud of.
To finish bottom of the pile last season and up to fifth this season is a mark of massive progress the guys have made and all signs point to us moving in the right direction, again we can all feel massively proud of that....but I can’t help but feel that if we had made the playoffs the momentum was in our favour, all the guys were beginning to click and it was all coming together nicely.
While Lakeside will have breathed a huge sigh of relief at making their way into the playoffs just ahead of us, I can guarantee you that Workington, Peterborough and Glasgow will also have breathed that very same, loud, outward sigh of relief.
Why? Let me tell you why...
Not one of those sides, with the exception of possibly Workington will have wanted to have faced us over two legs. Peterborough, Glasgow and Lakeside were all firmly put to the sword around ‘Fortress Shielfield’ and our performances away at Glasgow and in particular Peterborough would have, at least in my opinion, made us favourites in those meetings.
Don’t think for a second that the Bandits would have feared the Comets either; we have more than proved that home defeat at the hands of them was merely a blip. Plus I can guarantee you that the Bandits would still be hurting from that and would have been more than determined to put that right, after all there is no animal more dangerous than a wounded animal.
Oh what might have been...but mark my words my pedigree chums...the Bandits will be back for more in 2019!
Despite the disappointment at missing out on the playoffs, there is little doubt in my mind that we can look back on the 2018 season as being highly satisfactory.
Being almost invincible at home? Check!
Being one of only two sides to send Peterborough home pointless? Check!
Beating Ipswich away despite Chris Louis controlling the weather with his massive Ipad? Check!
Putting those Monarchs to the sword around Armadale? Check!
Putting the frighteners up the entire Championship? Check!
Ask any Bandits fan back in March if they would have taken that and I can assure you that they would have possibly laughed at you initially, before biting your hand off.
It would be very easy to look back on this season and be disappointed at what might have been, but at the same time the immense feeling of pride that we can all take from how far we have come since last season is what I would rather reflect on.
Each and every one of the Bandits riders wore the jacket with pride and gave it their all every single time and you simply cannot ask for any more than that. The whole season the guys rode as a team and helped each other out and that reflected on the track and the results began to come with it.
I think we can all feel proud of that and happy with the way things panned out and as for those in the playoffs, may the best team win and rest assured the Bandits aren’t here to simply make up the numbers!
Of course if you wish to agree, or disagree with the Mythman, have an idea for a feature, or you simply want to chew the fat over all things speedway, you can email me Mythman666@hotmail.com. If your compliments, or indeed gripes can be contained to just 280 characters. You can send me a tweet @Mythman666.
Until next time...and there will be a next time.
Right I’ll hae’tae gan