NEWS Monday 7th November 2005, 10:00am

by Mike Hunter

Derek Sneddon is the first Edinburgh rider to be offered a contract for 2006.

The 23 year old will thus return to racing at Premier League level for the first time since the early days of 2003, when he suffered a serious leg break at Workington.

He received the contract offer during the Monarchs' successful dinner dance last Saturday night. Although he has still to finalise details, John Campbell said "It is only a case of dotting the I's and crossing the t's."

Derek added "It's fantastic, that has been my aim all along and now that it has happened obviously I'm delighted."

After a magnificent second half to his season with the Dale Devils, there's no way he could have been left out whatever the rules may be.

"I must admit that when I came back in Conference League racing I thought it would be a walk in the park, but I soon found out that it wasn't like that at all!

"It took me a while to get going but during the past season I gradually got things right. Scott Lamb had a lot to do with it, he told me my engine was too strong and contacted Archie Meldrum with some thoughts on how the setup should be. That made all the difference.

"The Dale Devils thing this season has been absolutely fantastic, especially towards the end when we realised we could win something.

"It's taught me about team racing too. At Premier League level it was just a case of getting on with things, but in the Conference I was the senior person so I had to try to help the younger riders.

"I was a wee bit disappointed with my finishing average though I suppose I had a few falls and exclusions which didn't help."

Derek will again be assisted by sponsorship from Buildbase. "This came through my mechanic Chris. He brought them along to speedway for the first time. Now they sponsor me and they have some other contacts who may chip in something too, so that's excellent."

SEASON TICKETS: Monarchs have now put their 2006 season tickets on sale with the following prices applying if ordered before 19th December: Adults ?264, OAPs or students in full-time education ?198, children (15 and under) ?88, Family (adult plus two children) ?362. A match magazine season ticket is ?40.