December 12 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 20, 2013
It was a case of what might have been for the Lakeside Hammers as they missed out on an Elite League play-off spot, but co-promoters Jon Cook and Stuart Douglas will now sit down and discuss the club’s future plans.
Monday night’s 54-38 loss at Swindon saw the Hammers miss out on the play-offs at the expense of Poole Pirates and slipped down to sixth after King’s Lynn Stars’ 50-40 win over Birmingham Brummies on Wednesday.
And for Cook there’s disappointment that the mid-season change to bring in Pole Sebastian Ulamek to the team didn’t secure a play-off spot.
“We felt the expensive mid-season changes we made should have put us in the frame for the play-off final. That unfortunately wasn’t the case and we have to look at how we build future teams and who is in them.
“At the end of the day we can’t ride the bikes for the boys, but we do pick the team so responsibility for our failure on track rests at our door.”
The sport in this country faces an uncertain future with talks ongoing with sponsors Sky Sports about its TV contract, though Cook will keep his thoughts under wraps until meetings with the governing body, the BSPA, take place.
“We feel hugely let down by a number of factors that have contributed to our failure to miss out on that top four spot, several of which were not within our control,” he added.
“However this is a delicate time for the sport and we will make our thoughts known behind closed doors, in the meetings to come.”
And despite the uncertainty, Cook paints a bright picture for the club itself off the track with crowds back to levels it reached in 2008, while sponsors Skidmarques and Vortex Exhaust Systsems have already committed themselves to the club for the 2014 season.
“Off track, the season has recovered from the freezing cold start, with crowds back to their 2008 levels,” said Cook. This included one of our highest ever Friday crowds for our final league match of the year against Poole Pirates.
“The Hagon Shocks Academy is now up and running and we have terrific sponsors in Vortex Exhaust Systems and Skidmarques, both of whom are already on board in 2014.”
But there are still plans for Lakeside to have one final meeting before the season finishes, but they all hinge on Premier League play-off dates for Richard Lawson and club asset Adam Ellis, with the club expected to make a decision early next week.
Christine Ohuruogu and Mo Farah have been nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.