NEW BOSS FOR PANTHERS

Tuesday February 18, 2020
PETERBOROUGH Speedway are delighted to welcome former Great Britain boss Rob Lyon as their new team manager.

Lyon arrives at the East of England Arena as part of a backroom re-shuffle which sees co-promoter Carl Johnson take on a wider role in club affairs, focusing on commercial activities and the overall running of meetings alongside Colin Pratt.

In Lyon, the Crendon Panthers have recruited a highly experienced team boss who was a double Premier League title-winner amongst a host of honours during his time in charge of rivals King’s Lynn.

Lyon also oversaw the Stars’ elevation to the top flight in 2011 and led them into the Elite League play-offs in two of the following four seasons.

Although out of club management over the last three years, Lyon has remained close to the sport via his involvement in the highly successful No Limits training programme for youngsters.

And he says he’s now full of enthusiasm for his return to top-level management, and relishing the challenge ahead with the City Auction Group-backed club.

Lyon said: “I’ve had a couple of years out of day-to-day club involvement, and when this opportunity arose I felt it would be the right time to come back.

“Peterborough is really my local track so in that respect it’s perfect, and I’m ready for the new challenge and really looking forward to it.

“I realise the only way is up after last year and I haven’t had a lot to do with the team that’s being put together, but I like what I see and I think we will be competitive and capable of doing very well.

“I can assure the Peterborough fans that I’ll be giving it 100 per cent commitment, and even though there’s the rivalry with King’s Lynn, there’s certainly no issue there from my perspective.

“I have a job to do, and I’ll give everything to help make us successful. I like my teams to be a collective unit, I understand the riders have their livings to earn as individuals, but ultimately you win leagues by building a good team spirit.

“Form has a lot to do with that and winning is a big confidence-booster, but building that culture is what my teams are all about, and that’s what I’ll be encouraging this year.

“We have a lot to prove as a club and for me it’s a big challenge, but with 100 per cent given from everyone it can be a much better season than last year.”

Panthers stalwart Johnson has served the club in a number of roles, leading to his promotion to team manager in 2014.

He led them to KO Cup success in 2017, back-to-back Fours titles in 2017/18, and Championship leadership after the league stage in 2018 before injuries wrecked their hopes of the top trophy itself.

Johnson said: “Throughout your career in speedway you take on different roles, and I’ve done pretty much everything here up to taking what I feel is another step up the ladder.

“I will be overseeing the running of the club and also the commercial and sponsorship side, which every club needs for it to survive. You’ve only got to look at Swindon with Lee Kilby, who is in a very similar role, and how successful they have been.

“From speaking to Buster (Chapman), he wants somebody to eventually take over. He’s happy to finance the club, but he wants somebody he can trust and rely on to run the club for him, and we do need to put plans in place for the future.

“Obviously I enjoyed being team manager, and we’ve had some success over the years, but at some point you have to move on and go in a different direction.

“I’ve been heavily involved in the team-building and will be going forward, but just in a different role, and my long-term future is definitely here with Peterborough.

“In some ways this is an extra pressure off me, because there’s really only been Colin and myself running the club over the past year along with Buster’s financial input and knowledge, but apart from that it’s been the two of us.

“I’m aware you can do too much, and it will take a bit of time for me to learn a new role and not be quite as attached to the team, but we do need more people involved and Rob coming in takes a bit of the pressure off.

“It does put some pressure on in a different area, but I’m happy with that and hopefully we can all move forward for a good season.”

PETERBOROUGH SPEEDWAY are delighted to be supported by Crendon Timber as main team sponsors and City Auction Group as club sponsors.

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