RICO BACKS MIDDLO
Saturday 9th April 2011, 01:27
Lakeside star Lee Richardson has given new Team Great Britain team boss Neil Middleditch his seal of approval, but admits he will not be tempted out of international retirement.
Middleditch returns to the Lions setup after a three-year absence, having quit the role at the start of 2008 to focus on his business commitments away from the track.
The Poole Pirates team manager’s passion is legendary and Richardson is confident he can get the best out of Britain’s finest.
He said: “I didn’t think Middlo would come back after last time, to be honest. But you couldn’t get a better guy to be British team manager – that’s for sure.
“He’s a very motivational person and you just have to look at what he has done with the Poole team over the years.
“I know they’ve had good teams and good riders, but he is the sort of guy you want to do your best for.
“He’s a good guy to have there and I have spoken to him. He rang me straight away and we had a long chat. He seems pretty keen for it again, which is good.”
While Richardson and Middlo worked well together in the Pirates chief’s seven seasons as Lions boss, Team GB’s highest ever Speedway World Cup point-scorer admits he has no intention of reversing his decision to quit the national team.
He walked away after becoming increasingly disillusioned with the way the team was run by the BSPA. He was also concerned about the governing body’s decision to deny rider sponsors prime advertising space on the Team GB kevlars, and sell it to team backers instead.
Asked if his position had changed following Middlo’s appointment, he said: “No, definitely not. I spoke to Middlo, he explained a few things, but a lot of people missed the point of what I was saying.
“It’s not all down to money. There are a lot of other things I’ve never discussed that have gone on in the past that I haven’t agreed with. It makes it very hard to race for your country with a lot of the things that have happened in the past.”
He added: “My commitment has always been there, but everything must come to an end one day and I feel this is the right time for me.”
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