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NEWS Sunday 6th January 2008, 11:10am

by Mike Hunter

The 19 year old Swedish star Thomas H Jonasson has signed a contract this morning (Sunday) to race for the Edinburgh Scotwaste Monarchs in 2008.

The Monarchs' promotion believe they have made one of their best-ever signings in securing the services of the young Swedish Elite League rider who finished in a fine sixth place in last season's World Under-21 Championship.

He scored 10 points in the Under-21 final at Ostrow, Poland last year, finishing ahead of such riders as Elite Leaguers Lewis Bridger and Edward Kennett and the Czech Filip Sitera who was so impressive in his brief UK tour at the end of last year.

He is certainly one of Sweden's finest prospects for some time, and still has two years left in the Under-21 title chase. He admitted yesterday though that his sights are set firmly on an eventual place in the World Championship Grand Prix series.

Thomas and his father Michael were the guests of the Monarchs' promotion in Edinburgh over the weekend. They have had a look at the Armadale track and stadium, and spent some time socially with a group of Monarchs' fans and officials before agreeing terms.

Thomas said ?Armadale is a little bigger than I had been told but I don't see any problem riding it.?

His dad Michael added ?We have spoken with two or three British clubs before making our decision to come to Edinburgh. It is never about the money, it is about what is best for Thomas and his career. We need to know and like the people we work with.?

Thomas will be at the Monarchs' practise day scheduled for March 7th for his first experience of racing the Armadale circuit.

The initial suggestion that Monarchs should approach Thomas came from season ticket holder Stevie Gilroy who witnessed Tomas's performance at Ostrow last year.

If things go according to plan, there should be another signing announcement in the very near future with the remainder of the team following shortly afterwards.

THOMAS H JONASSON: Born 27/11/88, Vetlanda, Sweden. Clubs: (UK) Edinburgh, (Sweden) VMS Elit of Vetlanda, (Poland) Stal Gorzow. 6th in World Under-21 Championship 2007. Silver medallist in World Under-21 team championship 2006.

EDINBURGH SCOTWASTE MONARCHS 2008: (Signed so far) Thomas H Jonasson, Andrew Tully, Aaron Summers.