By Steve Carpenter 12/04 Updated: 12/04 14:26
COLIN Pratt will be using over 50 years experience in speedway as a rider and promoter to help guide Coventry Bees to Elite League glory.
Pratt joined the Bees back in 1998 and since then has been involved with three league title, most recently in 2010 when his side triumphed against all odds to lift the title.
Preparations for this season have gone smoothly in comparison to last year, when a dispute with the British Speedway Promoters' Association (BSPA) dragged over winter and into the start of the 2011 season.
But despite the double defeat on Friday the 73-year-old feels last year's events has made the club stronger, and a combination of experience and good team morale will stand them in good stead.
"It's been nice to have a bit more time to prepare, it's been easier because we've not been living on a knife's edge like last year," Pratt told the Observer.
"We've managed to get a strong top four this season and now we've got to work hard with our lower pairs and our experienced riders will help them and guide them so they can produce the best out of them.
"I have a very good relationship with Mick (Horton). I knew him when he was a promoter at Peterborough many years ago so it's not a new name to me and I think he is doing a good job on the commercial front."
The Bees made a disappointing start to their 2012 campaign last week after losing out to Poole both at home and away on Good Friday.
But Pratt has seen it all before and will be using his many years of experience to turn things around.
"This is my 56th year in speedway. I've been involved as a rider for ten years and a co-promoter the rest as well as being Great Britain manager for seven years.
"It takes time at all levels of the sport and it takes a knowledge of the sport to be successful.
"I've been involved with a lot of riders down the years and I still very much enjoy it.
"We've worked with a lot of this year's riders in the past, especially during my time here, and good team morale has always been a big part of our success.
"Chris (Harris) has moved up from Cornwall. He lives just down the road from Brandon and although he is not from Coventry he has very much made himself local and Scott Nicholls is also a popular performer here too.
"Blayne Scroggins asked me if he could be my assistant so he has come on board to see what goes on because I won't be around forever."
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