Wolverhampton promoter Chris Van Straaten has hinted that his club are taking a different approach to their winter team-building ahead of the 2006 season.
Wolves had this year's lineup in place well before the beginning of the campaign, with certain deals done very early in the close-season, but both Van Straaten and manager Peter Adams have offered the opinion recently that whilst the team structure was right, various riders within that structure did not live up to expectations.
The sport's promoters meet in Tenerife next week to lay down the team-building regulations for next season and the key issue to be addressed is of whether there will be a slight reduction in the points limit to compensate for the expected arrival of Reading in the top flight.
But it is by no means certain that the limit will be reduced from its current level of 42.5 and Van Straaten has already confirmed that such a change would only cause him to re-think the bottom end of his team.
That in itself is a good enough reason to retain the existing limit, as Van Straaten's thoughts would doubtless be mirrored amongst other Elite League promoters, thus defeating the objective of making some top riders available.
Van Straaten said: "Last winter, I admit we were too quick to shake hands on deals with some riders when, if we had taken more time, we might have done things differently.
"I know the direction I want to go with my team and the only variation will be at the bottom end if the points limit is reduced slightly.
"I know my team if we're at
42.5 points but I want to leave it until after the AGM, because the bottom end will need to change if we do have a reduction. As soon as we come back, we can make some announcements."
Whatever the points limit, it seems likely that there will be several changes at Monmore Green, in stark contrast to what is expected to happen at Coventry where the Bees will almost certainly make minimal alterations to their title-winning line-up.
A 42.5 limit would enable the Brandon club to reintroduce young Australian Rory Schlein, who missed the last five months of the season due to injury, at the expense of one of their loan signings, Joonas Kylmakorpi or Sebastian Ulamek, but retain six of their 2005 team.
They will once again look to make use of their strength in depth, with Morten Risager and Martin Smolinski finishing the season as the best reserve partnership in the Elite League.
Smolinski, in particular, made major strides in his first season in this country and appears to be on a bargain
4.53 average based on his form in the second half of the campaign.
He said: "By the end of the season, I was confident that I could usually score between five and eight points a meeting and I think that's good for my first season.
"I wasn't so happy in the middle of the season, but I changed a lot of things and I also learnt a lot from talking to Scott Nicholls, who is a great captain."