So another few weeks have passed since we bid a fond farewell to the 2017 season here at Berwick, and since then, there has been plenty going on in the speedway world.
Since my last blog, there have been various end of season parties up and down the country, including our own at Marshall Meadows which was greatly attended. That particular night saw Jye Etheridge sweep the board, picking up Rider of the Year trophies both from the supporters and his fellow riders.
A brilliant and well deserved achievement from Jye who proved all of his doubters wrong in 2017. Will we see more of the same from him in 2018? Time will tell on that!
Speaking of 2018, it was refreshing to hear David Howe tell us that it was Berwick or not at all for him next season. That level of commitment and defiance is lost in many sports these days, but when you listened to him talking that night, you knew it was 100% sincere. I personally would love to see the rise of "The Phoenix" continue on into 2018.
Of course we won't know too much about 2018 until the AGM which takes place later this month. That is where all the rules and regulations will be set out and I think this years AGM is probably the most important one for many a year as the future of speedway in this country depends on it.
The time between the seasons end and the AGM is traditionally the quiet time, and frankly my least favourite time of year as there is very little to debate, everything is up in the air and the rumour mill is the only thing in overdrive!
After that though the silly season will truly get under way, riders will start talking to clubs, signing contracts and it is then that we can start to see how all the teams shape up.
However what we do know though is that Leicester have pulled off the massive signing of Martin Vaculik to spearhead their challenge for honours in 2018. Vaculik has stated himself in interviews that he sees riding in Britain as a vital part of taking his career to the next level.
Now given what a lot of people have said on social media and the likes, they view British Speedway as dead in the water, however I tend to disagree. Yes there is no doubting it has its flaws and needs a shake up but it most certainly has a future in spite of that.
Obviously with the Berwick Speedway Academy training facility opening up at Duns, we as a club are doing our bit to nurture British talent and who knows? Perhaps in a few years we will have produced another Tai Woffinden. Hey, anything is possible!
Getting back to Martin Vaculik though, I know that people will scoff at his comments, but that statement isn't so daft when you consider this. Since the Grand Prix began back in 1995, there have been 11 different winners, and as well as having the honour of being World Champion, they all share something else in common...every single one of them has ridden in Britain for a considerable length of time during their careers.
Coincidence? Perhaps, but when you hear guys like Greg Hancock, arguably the most experienced rider in the world say that he credits his time riding in Britain as what made him the rider he became then I tend to believe him. Nicki Pedersen, Jason Crump and now Jason Doyle all served their speedway apprenticeship on these shores too which should suggest it has to have helped them in some way n terms of development.
Speedway in this country is far from dead in the water, I think the ship just requires a little steadying over the somewhat troublesome waters.
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