FORMER captain Simon Stead has been axed by the Swindon Robins at the end of a season when he helped the club to the Elite League title and celebrated his own testimonial meeting at Blunsdon.

Stead was under threat of being dropped from the team after a string of poor performances but rallied at the end of the campaign to make several valuable contributions.

Swindon boss Alun Rossiter is understandably keen to keep the core of his championship-winning side together. However, Stead, who will remain a Swindon asset, has been told he can find a new club.

Rossiter admitted that Stead’s departure was one of the toughest decisions he and co-promoter Gary Patchett have had to take.

Rossiter said: “It’s never nice to tell a rider he’s not required for next year, especially one who has been loyal to the club as Simon has been. But we have decided to go in a different direction with our team-building.

“I would like to thank him for his services to Swindon over the last four years, and we hope he’ll get fixed up elsewhere quickly.”

Rossiter has, however, moved to secure the services of talented youngster Nick Morris, who becomes the second signing for the 2013 team after Peter Kildemand.

Morris, who rode occasionally for the Robins in 2012, has been transferred from Premier League side Glasgow Tigers.

Rosco said: “This is great news for the club. We are delighted to welcome him back in 2013 as a fully-fledged Swindon asset and he is part of the future of this club.”

The move for Morris has been aided by the Robins securing the biggest sponsorship deal in the history of the club with local I.T and mobile communications specialist Excalibur Communications Ltd.

The groundbreaking deal includes the title sponsorship of the team with immediate effect and for the duration of the 2013 season. The team will be known as the ‘Excalibur Communications Swindon Robins’.

Patchett said: “This is fantastic news for us and we are delighted that Excalibur CEO James Phipps has identified the part that the Robins can play in developing the Excalibur brand.

“Next year will see us represent British speedway in the inaugural European team competition and we will do so with honour and pride.”