King's Lynn Stars boss fights back the tears as he contemplates a return to action for his team
King’s Lynn Stars manager Peter Schroeck fought back the tears as he contemplated a return to competitive action for his team.
Schroeck was clearly emotional when he stood in the Adrian Flux Arena pits discussing a long-delayed tapes-up for the Stars and their Premiership league rivals.
The team boss, reflecting on the fact Lynn last raced in September 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic, said: “I was sitting there last night thinking: ‘Wow!’
“It’s quite emotional, the whole thing. I’m welling up now, really. It’s been a long, hard 20 months and a lot of pain with a lot of riders as that’s all they know with what they’re doing for now.
“Suddenly, it was all stopped with the covid situation, and one thing and another. I’m really happy we’re getting back to some normality.
“Hopefully we’ll start next week and from our point of view everything is in place.
“At the moment it all looks very positive: let it start!”
The German-born former rider and Rye House manager contracted the virus himself at the beginning of the year and feels a home derby with East Anglian rivals Ipswich Witches on Monday to begin the campaign is the perfect tonic.
He added: “These sorts of meetings are a must for both clubs because we’re only a few miles down the road from each other and it should bring a few people through the gate, should show a bit of interest, especially after all this time.
“We’re all being told outside is the safest place so if people don’t want to come out and see this, there’s a problem, so I’m really looking forward to that challenge.
“There are certain stadiums where it’s a bit more compact and they’re still negotiating with each of their local councils because every council is different.
“The government, it looks like it’s leading us in the right direction and there’s positive news coming out every day on the news.
“They’re probably testing us at the moment, sort of thing, and hopefully the first one we’ll get out of the way and hopefully things will ease off as we go along.
“I can’t see us doing a full season where we will have all these restrictions. We will do it if we have to but I think nature will take its course.
“From speedway’s point of view we're very positive and that’s what we have got to be. There are still some people trying to be a little bit negative about it but at the end of the day this is the only way out of it.
“I’ve always said all along, if we can get this vaccine sorted out, it is the quickest way out of it whether we like it or not.”
On the prospect of pre-booking tickets only, Schroeck commented: “It’s no different to going to a concert, or anything like that. From my own point of view, it might be a positive thing because at least you know where you are financially which is always important.
“So if this is the new era of what we have to do to get on with things, in sport and in all walks of life, so be it. Humans don’t like changes but sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone.”
Schroeck sympathises with anyone who is hesitant to return to the terraces: “Hundred per cent. It’s been a tough six weeks for me when I was out. I never thought it would affect me the way it has.
“I class myself lucky. I was one of them who thought: Well, it’ll never happen…
“When it hits you in your backyard it’s a completely different kettle of fish. It was very emotional, for all my family and everything.”