King’s Lynn Stars have appointed Dale Allitt as the man to take them forwards in the 2017 SGB Premiership.
It comes following a re-structure of the club which sees Rob Lyon take on the day-to-day business at the Adrian Flux Arena while Keith ‘Buster’ Chapman will turn his focus to his role as Chairman of the British Speedway Promoters’ Association.
After managing the Young Stars in the National League, Allitt is no stranger to the club and has a vast amount of experience in his favour.
Allitt is confident he can put that to good use and says he’s excited to test himself in the top tier of British Speedway.
“Myself, Rob and Keith spoke at the beginning of the season and we discussed a few possibilities and it was always the plan for me to be involved a lot more this year,” Allitt said.
“I was at every Elite League meeting except one at Poole and I was very mindful of the fact that despite my year with Peterborough in the Premier League and my experience and relative success in the National League, I needed to mix it at the top to get used to being involved at that level.
“I’ve had a good apprenticeship with the Young Stars, basically running that team on my own for the last five or six years, and from that point it’s a natural step-up.
“The role is obviously still very similar, you’re just dealing with different people, different personalities and with the greatest of respect, different egos, attitudes and approaches.
“However, I have developed plenty of man management skills during my time at the club and managing in the top division is a role I’m relishing taking on.
“Shadowing Rob has been invaluable and I’ve certainly picked a lot of things up in 2016.
“It was a difficult year for the club and we had some tough calls to make but in the long run it could benefit me as I make the step-up to team manager in the top flight.
“I’ve had a few other options and opportunities in the last couple of years but King’s Lynn is the place I’ve always really wanted to be.
“I understand there’ll be some people who’ll have reservations about me being appointed team manager in the SGB Premiership, however I just urge the supporters of King’s Lynn to give us time, get behind the team and give everyone a chance to show what they can do.
“It’s not like I’m a stranger coming in with no experience behind me; some people may actually be surprised with how heavily involved I’ve been over the years.
“I’ve always been involved to a degree with the Stars in the Elite League because when the Fast-Track scheme was introduced, as manager of the National League Young Stars, it was natural for me to link up with Lewis Kerr and Lewis Rose as well as Rob Lambert of course and be helping them at both levels.
“I’ve stood in for Rob Lyon on a number of occasions and even in the season just gone, I was there for that win we got away at Belle Vue which was probably one of the highlights of our season.
“I’m just going into it with an open mind, I’ll always be willing to answer any questions supporters have and I’ll be happy to explain things from a team manager’s point of view if they want to challenge any decisions over the course of the year too.
“While myself and Rob have got a proud, relatively long history with the club, we’re viewing this as a fresh start and a new era for the club.
“We’ve got a fantastic working relationship, and we’ve probably spent more time with each other than we have with our own wives this year!
“We’ve dedicated a lot of time and effort into making sure we get this right and I can’t wait to test myself at the highest level of British Speedway.”
Allitt has also described his time as Young Stars boss as an enjoyable period of his career.
He said: “I’ve loved every minute of working with the Young Stars and I’m proud of what the teams have achieved down the years.
“We’ve won the Pairs, we’ve got to Play-Off Finals and Knockout Cup Finals and on the budget we run on I think that’s a remarkable effort.
“Financially, our National League team isn’t going to compete with some of these other clubs who are now racing at that level.
“While success would be nice, our aim each and every year is to bring on some young, British lads and I think it’s fair to say we’ve done that!
“We’ve brought riders on who have since gone on to be big talents in both the Premier and the Elite League, and on a miniscule budget at that, and that’s something to be proud of as a club.”