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Dick Barrie's picture

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As this will be my final weblog of 2018, I’m looking forward to 2019 with a fair degree of eager anticipation.

Despite doubts still being expressed by some of our more pessimistic punters over our ‘strength-in-depth’ line-up, I like the idea, and fully appreciate we are building against a budget which clearly has to be less than than that of other clubs (who have not been around for over fifty seasons).

Which is OK, if you’ve got the dough. But if you pay over the odds, there has to come a day of reckoning.

If and when a club which proves to be fuller with promises than financial backing gets into trouble, the promised wages and fees become meaningless. The wampum, the mazuma, just won't be there to pay the troops.

To quote George Washington: "“We must consult our means rather than our wishes”

Creating a platform for the famous answer – I was present – when a Bandit of the recent past was being tapped up by one of the sport’s long-on-promises, short-on-delivery, fly-by-night promotions.

“Look, what is it Berwick can do for you that our club can’t?” he was asked.

Our man’s reply was simple: “They pay me, not as much as you’re offering, but every week”

End of illegal approach, right there.

Listen to Cap’n Kev, quoted in last week’s “Speedway Star” magazine: “I ride for Berwick because they’re a family club, they pay you and don’t screw you around”. That from a man who’s been around the block a few times, raced in leagues big and small, done his time in FIM meetings back in the day – but is now stuck like glue to our Bandits.

Think on the recent words of Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen: “It’s the first club I’ve ridden for in England where I felt everyone standing together. We made a major climb up the table this year, and with pretty much the same team we are capable of climbing even further. I want to be a part of a winning team and that’s why I chose Berwick again. I feel more motivated than ever, not only for myself but also to give the club the success it deserves!”

Now NBJ, despite being only 24, is already a world-class act with four World U21 Finals under his belt. He’s raced all over the planet – I’ve personally been at FIM meetings staged as far apart as Australia and Argentina at which he impressed, and he’s even gone to the tapes at a Grand Prix.

With David Howe now in his corner, Nikolaj has the speedway world at his feet. He’s been scooped up by the Premiership champions at Poole – yet his first love in Britain, and his loyalties, remain in the borders.

Tells you something, dunnit?

How can we make sure this kind of loyalty coming from our riders is repaid?

Well, although we have recognised a need to increase inward cashflow from the turnstiles, and will be seeking additional avenues of financial support directly to the promotion, there is a way you – yes, you – can actually save money while offering start-up funding to the club for the exciting new season ahead…….

As you are already reading these words on the club website, flick back to the page that says “Buy Season Passes” and get your order in. Available at those well-advertised, and stonkingly-big discounts only until January 9th (that’s just 21 days from now – three short weeks).

Thinks: Use a credit card, and you won’t even have to pay for your pass until February, or even maybe March!

Finally, having mentioned David Howe above, his withdrawal – along with Theo Pijper – and the introduction of Coty Garcia (24) and Leon Flint (currently still only 15) has dramatically reduced the average age of our line-up in 2019.

Proving to me that our bosses are looking to the future.

This week, especially, we can observe how everybody’s having fun…..

Look to the future now, it’s only just begun!

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Want to disagree with Dick (as so many do?). He is always happy to hear from interesting people at dick@crystalfm.co.uk