Hammers welcome positive AGM

The Lakeside Hammers promoting duo of Stuart Douglas and Jon Cook returned from this week’s British Speedway AGM in a positive frame of mind and with much work to do as they set about building the 2012 edition of their Lakeside Hammers team.

The meeting of Promoters from the Elite League has seen the restrictive 40 point limit increased to 41 and the controversial ‘one over 8 point rule’, which was hugely unpopular with fans, dropped giving teams a free hand in selecting their seven riders.

Stuart Douglas commented: “I was very impressed with the feeling of togetherness that was evident in the Elite League room and I think the decisions we have taken will be welcomed. We have room now to look at improving the team in the areas we feel need it to make a more concerted attempt to win the League with Jon and I, with input from both Neil Vatcher and Lee Richardson, working over the next few weeks to do just that. On a personal level I am also delighted that Jon (Cook) was elected to the senior Elite position of Vice Chairman.”

Jon Cook commenting on the team building plans said: “Our first priority now is to make contact with all our assets and let them know where they stand with regards to our intentions for next season and to continue the talks we have started with the new riders we are targeting.

“It’s early days on that front but our priority is another recognised Heat Leader and to that end considerable progress has already been made whilst we are also looking at doing business in the other direction with at least one of our riders likely to be on the move. This is the exciting part of the close season for fans and managers alike and, hopefully, we will have at least one announcement to make before Christmas in that regard.”

Whilst on his new role Jon Cook said: “I feel honoured to be Vice Chairman and to have achieved that by winning an election makes me feel particularly responsible to my fellow members to make sure I do a good job. I have enjoyed working with Alex Harkess as a member of the Management Committee and feel he has been an exceptionally diligent Chairman in his responsibilities towards our League over a very stormy period of history both in and outside of the Sport and I look forward to continuing that relationship in what we hope will be calmer times.

“I feel the role is a recognition as much for the hard work and high regard our colleagues have for our Lakeside Club more so than for me personally and I have no doubt that the extra workload that this position brings will not have a negative affect on the Club as I have excellent individuals such as Stuart (Douglas), Neil Vatcher and Alan Sargent to make sure that’s not the case”.

Picture: Jon Cook with Alan Sargent