King’s Lynn team boss Lyon reflects on GB exit
King's Lynn Stars' team boss Rob Lyon yesterday revealed his vision for the sport's long term future was 'miles apart' from speedway's top brass after stepping down from the Team GB role.
Lyon will not be in charge of his country when the World Team Cup event returns to the Norfolk Arena in the summer after ending a two year stint at the national helm. The successful Stars' manager admitted he had become increasingly frustrated with the governing body's (BSPA) attitude to developing the next generation of British talent.
Lyon guided Team GB to last year's world final after a memorable event two victory on home shale in front of more than 7,500 fans at Saddlebow.
'It was in my mind since the end of the World Cup to be honest and when we got talking about it again it was pretty clear they wanted to go one way and I have a completely different approach,' he said. 'My opinion is if we don't go in a longer term direction, or at least make some moves in that direction, we are not going to make any progress whatsoever.
'I tried to impress upon on them the long term view but they just don't get it – or see it the way I see it. On that basis we were miles apart so I felt there was no point going forward. The first year was quite progressive but off track last year was difficult, even though ironically we made progress on track with the established boys.'
Lyon blooded a crop of young riders in his inaugural global campaign to underline his commitment to a long term strategy.
'They may never have been good enough to win a World Cup but what we would have had was a system in place to help them come through and better themselves,' he said. 'That isn't going to happen under me. We have people in place looking after the under 15s and under 21s but the biggest problem with that is you have no-one at, say under 15 level, who is totally and actively responsible and looking at equipment and the availability of tracks and finding these youngsters.
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'They are out there, believe me. We have plenty of youngsters in motocross who would love the opportunity but there are too many barriers to cross to get them involved. You have to invest in these things to get a long term gain.'
Lyon will now switch his focus to Lynn's exciting Elite League return ahead of tapes up next month.
'It's a new challenge,' he said. 'I think King's Lynn as a whole, despite the problems and issues this winter with the Elite, it was the natural thing for the club because we had conquered the Premier League. It was time to move up. A lot of people will say it is not a true Elite League and I would have to agree. It is more like a First Division, but you can't deny it is a stronger league than the Premier and it will give supporters something different.
'The team we have put together is based on a little continuity from the Premier side with Tomas (Topinka) and Olly (Allen) and there is also a little bit of expect the unexpected because it is unknown in terms of what it is capable of in a lot of ways. We have riders who are capable of doing really well. I think we want a solid first year and to concentrate on enjoying it, because that was lacking a little last season.'