King's Lynn Stars hosts live Twitter 'Q&A' session for fans
King's Lynn Stars speedway co-promoter Dale Allitt hosted a live Twitter 'Q&A' session on Tuesday night in order to field queries from fans.
Supporters had previously been invited to post questions on the popular social media platform via @KLSpeedway and @daleallitt.
Former Stars and Young Stars team manager Allitt was online for more than an hour responding to the Adrian Flux Arena faithful during this 'Twitter Takeover'.
He said the club should be in a position to announce their first rider for the 2021 Premiership season by the end of this week; commented that he'd like to see a return for the Young Stars National League development side; and confirmed there will be a press and practice day as usual before the season starts in May.
Among those asking questions were current Minors & Brady Stars captain Lewis Kerr and team boss Peter Schroeck; plus former team manager Rob Lyon.
All sorts of interesting points were raised and posed by fans and pundits on all manner of topics, both serious and humorous.
Allitt's answers are in quotes after the fans' names, Twitter 'handles' and questions (some fans asked more than once so their questions are grouped together), beginning with a member of the Lynn supporters' club...
Theresa Carman @theresajcarman: How many clubs/promotions are in precarious positions given the disaster of covid? How positive are you about the future of King's Lynn and Peterborough?
"It’s very difficult to assess other clubs' business. All discussions have been very positive and I’d like to think all clubs will come to tapes in 2021. Very positive. Probably more positive than we have been for a while.
"For many years Buster (Chapman) has show his commitment to the club. I don’t see that changing any time soon."
- How can the fans help the cause on twitter/insta, do we retweet/like sponsors post etc enough for example?
"In general, fans have been excellent. Pushing the club as a whole on social media is important and we’re thankful for fans who get involved and interact."
- Who's gonna be our mic man in the middle this season?
"It will probably be a mixture of two or three guys. Craig Saul, Ryan Guest, Andy Mitchell."
- If money was no object what would you do first to benefit British Speedway?
"Invest in youth and ensure the programme benefits with track time, machinery, looking after themselves, developing public profile. It’s tough for riders with no media training so we’d help with that. It’s vital that we look after our young riders, they are the future.
"Trying to get back to a situation where clubs own all of their own stadiums!"
Rob Lyon @Lyonsy65: Who is the easiest and hardest rider you have had to work/deal with?
"All riders are different in their own way. It’s an adrenaline fuelled sport. I wouldn’t say anyone is particularly difficult or easy to work with. It’s important to know what kind of characters you have to make sure you can get the best out of everyone."
Andrew Howell @Speedball74: With the emphasis now on British youngsters with the Rising Star initiative, could we see the return of the Young Stars to bring on riders to follow in the footsteps of Robert Lambert, Lewis Kerr & Lewis Rose?
"It has and will continue to be looked at. The National League has certainly changed since we were last in there. I’d like to think at some point the Young Stars will return."
Gavin Caney @GavinCaney: As someone who has championed youth development for years and had experience of running the Young Stars, does Dale think his knowledge will give him an advantage over his team boss rivals now there’s a bigger emphasis on promoting youngsters?
"Yes, we’d like to think going forward that we have the knowledge of the Youth setup to help us make the right decisions."
ALAN COLBY PHOTOGRAPHY@alancolby78: Would it be possible to have a stream for away meetings, with the money going to the club eg live streams for away fans as it's hard to get to places like Ipswich on a Monday night, as people are working?
"It’s something that British Speedway as a whole are looking at and will continue to do so. At this moment, we’ve found the costs quite large to provide a suitable quality of stream."
- What have you missed most about speedway?
"Everything. The racing, the riders, the fans, the buzz, the banter. I still think there’s no other sport like it. I sincerely hope we get back racing soon!"
- Could supporters clubs do more to help?
"I think the @KLSSClub do a fantastic job. It’s quite a new supporters club and all the help they do for us is very much appreciated."
- Will there be a press and practice day before the season starts?
"Yes, there will. TBA."
Chris Milsom @Lordmilsom85: If you could have one former world champion in the King’s Lynn team who would it be and why?
"That’s easy for me. Mark Loram. Mark was one of the most exciting riders I’ve watched from the terraces. Never the best from the start but certainly made up for it. A joy to watch!"
- How hard has it been putting a team together with all the politics and stuff going on in Poland?
"It’s been more difficult than at any time in the past 15 years because of the continual change of landscape. Not just because of Poland but also the movement of people. It’s important we get back to racing. The thought of our riders not riding for two years is unthinkable."
Sam Mason @sammason1991: What are your true thoughts about the team that Lynn have assembled for this season, how well do you think we can do?
"We are still in the process of team-building with the ever-changing landscape. As are every other team. As we always do, we’ll endeavour to provide the most entertaining team possible."
- When will you be team managing once again?
"Always available to fill in when needed. My role has changed now with looking out for two clubs, at the moment. Never say never but my focus is on making sure we have two healthy speedway clubs."
David Rowe @daverowe01: Have you recovered yet from the drama of the 2013 National League Fours at Stoke (there were just four points separating four finalists. Dudley eventually triumphed on 14 after King’s Lynn's [10pts] Lewis Rose was disqualified)?
"It’s something I’ll probably never recover from. Definitely more enjoyable as a fan on the terraces than a team manager!"
Anthony Douglas @Anthony30672904: How certain are the BSPA of a May start date?
"Everything is fluid. We are all working towards that date, as are a number of other sports. We’re doing everything we can to be able to return to racing come May."
Peter Woodhouse @FCWoodhouse: You're in an 'at risk' category/still shielding as I understand it, while your wife is an NHS worker. Have both/either of you had a vaccination yet?
"I’m no longer in a high risk category anymore and as of yet, no we haven’t."
Ady S @AdyS44664797: Will Craig Cook be our No.1; have all the riders been signed and when will we know who the riders are? If we do get racing with only so many people allowed in the Adrian Flux Arena, what is the full capacity of it?
"I very much hope Craig will be in the team. 10,465. Even at a reduced capacity we should be more than fine to stage speedway. As the stock cars did in 2020.
"We should be in a position to announce our first rider by the end of this week."
Lewi Kerr @LewisKerrRacing: Do you miss rushing to make the last ferry at the IOW?
"No, I don’t Lewi. And let’s be honest, neither do you!"
Chris Parker @DraytonCanary1: There’s been debate in the background for a while on whether one big league between the two top leagues is possible - especially with the amount of doubling up in recent years seemingly increasing. What’s your views on it?
"The biggest problem is the rider pool. There’s so many riders that double-up and until we have a certain standard and quantity of riders that proposition is going to be difficult.
"I can’t see that happening for at least the next couple of years."
Chris Cracknell @cracknell82: Is there a rider in recent years that you have been interested in but couldn't make it happen?
"I tried to sign Nico Covatti at the end of 2018 who ripped us apart for Somerset at the Adrian Flux Arena.
"It seemed close at one point but we couldn’t get it over the line. That’s probably the most recent one."
Ashley Willis @Ashley_Willis30: Will Robert Lambert ride for Lynn again?
"We continue to have a great relationship with Robert and wish him well in this year’s GP series. As Robert has said himself, we think he’ll be back. I’m sure he will.
"We understand his decision and believe it’s the right one for him with the current restrictions."
Joe Sands @joes_blogNow: Riders are choosing Poland and you have to rejig, wouldn’t it be wise to look at young local riders like Connor Mountain who have everything to prove and want it. Lynn lad and would easily pick up points at reserve having improved each season?
"It’s something that we’re actively doing - promoting local talent from the local area and will continue to do so."
Barry Vertigan @BarryVertigan: Any chance we can go back to having the red shale like the old days instead of the clay and mud. I know that the clay and mud is better for stox but can’t it be scraped off and put decent shale on for speedway?
"We’d love to go back to the red shale. The problem is actually getting hold of it. The quarry we used to get it from in the Midlands has sadly closed down.
"Ipswich, Peterborough, Scunthorpe and ourselves all use the same material now."
Daniel Broughton @Dbroughton15: Being a mentor to riders do you get annoyed when riders don’t listen to your advice?
"No. We’re there to help the rider progress and you can only do so much. It’s very rewarding and in some aspects more rewarding than being team manager.
"So far, I haven’t had anyone not listen and I’ve enjoyed working with everyone I have so far."
Joe Appleton @jappleton10: What’s been your most memorable meeting at the club? And why?
"(1) 2007. Promoter of Boston. Son had been knocked over by a bad accident. Simon Lambert and Paul Cooper won the meeting and if it wasn’t for my son telling me to go I wouldn’t have been there!
"(2) 2018. Belle Vue (A) play-offs. 7 heats gone and 10 points down. The guys rallied and ended the meeting 9 points ahead. MPT (Michael Palm Toft) finished on paid-19. They’re the two that stand out!"
Allitt ended the evening by saying: "Thanks for the questions, all! It’s not the easiest way to answer with character restrictions on here. Hopefully when the situation allows we can do a fans forum or video chat to give more in-depth answers.
"Thanks to @jappleton10 for patiently typing up my answers!"