A Matter of Opinion....Tommy Murdoch....17/01/2004
Tommy has been a Glasgow Tigers fan for around fifteen years.
The Glasgow promotion are starting their fourth season in command - are they doing a good job ?
They certainly are. The team has not done too well on track in their time in charge but the club is in a stable state. The teams they put together have generally looked good on paper but not done as well as expected. The team this year looks their best yet, hopefully this will be reflected in the results. The promotion took over from Brian Sands who was a very controversial figure and they've brought a less confrontational approach to promoting the sport. The contribution of Brian Sands shouldn't be forgotten though. He saved the club from certain death in 1998 and moved us to Ashfield in 1999. The club wasn't viable at Shawfield and probably wouldn't exist now without the move to Ashfield.
How do you feel about Edinburgh's title win ?
The Monarchs were clearly the best team in the league last year so they deserved to win it. I'm pleased for their fans, many of whom have waited many years to taste that kind of success. The only thing I wasn't keen on was the gubbings they gave us at home and away. We need serious revenge this season. It was probably a good year, if there is such a thing, for the Monarchs to win the title as they seemed to be short of cash after the 2002 season. Presumably they're now a lot more stable financially, a good thing for Scottish Speedway. It will be interesting to see how crowds go at Armadale if the team starts to struggle, several clubs have seen crowds fall away after a championship win, Glasgow included.
What do you think are the best and worst signings of the winter so far ?
Personally I think that Shane Parker is a fantastic signing for Glasgow, as is Paul Bentley in a second string role. More generally I think Reading have got it right with Danny Bird and Matej Zagar, if you add those two to Phil Morris then you've a very strong looking side. The vibe I'm picking up is that Cameron Woodward will do well for Edinburgh and on a three point average he's got the potential to be a good signing. In terms of the worst signing I don't see too many, although if I was a Newcastle fan I'd be concerned about Matej Ferjan as a number one. I don't think he'll have the consistency required and I don't expect he'll last long.
What have been the highs and lows of following Glasgow Tigers ?
The title win in 1993 was undoubtedly the high point. That we also won the cup that season, defeating Swindon who had a certain Jason Crump in their team in the final, was an added bonus. We also did the double in 1994 but for me there wasn't the same euphoria as in 1993, despite it probably being an even greater achievement. The low point was the whole of the 1996 season, that was the year that Glasgow didn't run and the Scottish Monarchs raced at Shawfield, an altogether surreal experience. Thankfully we were back in 1997 and have kept going since then.
How do you rate Scotland's chances of producing the next generation of racers ?
For some reason it's always been difficult for Scottish riders to make the breakthrough from the junior ranks. Even those former 'hot prospects' Barry Campbell and Blair Scott have struggled to progress beyond Premier League standard. The Dale Devils team contains a few riders with potential but I can't see any of them really making it big. At least now we've got a conference side up here again, without it we've really struggled over the last few years. Hopefully any Scots lads that do show a bit of potential will be given a run at either Glasgow or Edinburgh. The more Scots riders we have the more secure our clubs should be as there will be less travelling costs to pay.
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This article was first published on 17th January 2004
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