FORMER Birmingham Brummies racer and team manager Phil Morris has spoken fondly of his time managing the club – six years on after leaving the Perry Barr outfit.
The 45-year-old, who now acts as the Race Director for the Grand Prix and Speedway of Nations series, was a rider at Perry Barr Stadium in an injury-hit spell in 2008 but enjoyed a more memorable time when returning to manage the club in 2012.
Initially co-managing with Graham Drury, Morris took sole charge of the team in 2013 and led the Brummies to top spot in the Elite League and a second successive play-off appearance – only to suffer heartache in a 104-79 grand final defeat to Poole Pirates.
Resigning after the loss, Morris has not commented on his time in charge until now, but admits that he only has positive sentiments from the experience.
“I loved most of it,” he said.
“To make two Elite League play-offs, reaching the final in the last one after finishing top of the league with a team that was predicted to be bottom or second bottom in the Speedway Star’s pre-season edition was great.”
And as far as individual performances were concerned, the Newport native says his riders were always on form.
“Jason Doyle stepped up a level, Martin Smolinski had a great season and then we had solid riders like Danny King and Ben Barker – we brought in Nico Covatti and Josh Auty as well,” Morris added.
“In the other year there was Chris Harris and Bjarne Pedersen, they were great people to work with and I would like to think I had a good rapport with the riders.
“I tried my best to never get too heavy with them while also letting them know what was expected. They all know their jobs, though, you don’t have to explain that to a rider.
“There was only one rider I fell out with, it was when I said he could have done better and he said he was happy settling for second place – that disappointed me.”