The Wimbledon future of heat leader Wayne Barrett hangs in the balance following his non-appearance at Rye House last Saturday night, with an increasing likelihood that major changes will be in store for 2004.

The unschleduled loss of the Wimbledon track record holder at Rye House forced team boss Dingle Brown to make hasty changes to his line-up, including promoting skipper Chris Hunt to No.1 and borrowing local junior Barry Burchett to make up the numbers.

With the understrength Londoners on a hiding to nothing, title challenging Rye House showed little mercy and recorded a massive 50 point victory over the luckless visitors, with only Hunt, Peter Collyer and the unfortunate Mark Burrows standing up to be counted, with Burrows in particular deserving far more than a paltry four points for his wholehearted efforts.

One day hours later, Wimbledon closed their Conference League campaign with a heavy defeat at Buxton, with Collyer and Burrows again spearheading the challenge for the tired Dons as Wayne Barrett and Matt Cambridge missed the fixture.

Commenting on the rider absence problem which has affected the GMB Dons on more than one occasion this season, Chairman Ian Perkin said "Prior to the commencement of the season, we reached an understanding with Wayne Barrett that he would be unavailable for a few fixtures due to personal commitments and this was agreed by all parties."

"However, on a couple of occasions, we have been left short handed due to unscheduled absences of more than one rider and this is a situation that cannot be allowed to continue as it clearly affects the morale of the side. If riders don't think it is important to ride for the GMB Dons, how can we expect the fans to think following and supporting the side is important?"

"Our supporters deserve to see seven totally committed riders wearing the red & yellow of Wimbledon, and Dingle Brown our team manager has been told to take the necessary action to make sure this is the position when the GMB Dons take to the track in 2004".

Following last week's postponement due to a burst water main, the riders benefit meeting has been rescheduled for next week (15th October), with the Wimbledon side taking on a Conference League Select side in the finale to the 2003 Plough Lane season.



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