NEWS Sunday 4th January 2009, 2:00pm

by Mike Hunter

Edinburgh-born Sean Stoddart will be back in Monarchs' ranks for the 2009 season following 2 years with Newcastle.

Sean is just a couple of weeks away from his 22nd birthday and has been racing since 2003. He rode for the Dale Devils in the Conference League in 2003-5 and was a Monarchs' regular in 2004 and 2006, before spending the next two seasons at Newcastle.

He says ?I'm ecstatic to be coming back to Armadale. It was a little bit unexpected, when I first got the call from John Campbell.

Sean comes from a speedway family and grew up watching Monarchs. ?My dad was watching Monarchs as far back as Meadowbank, and going to Powderhall was something we did on a Friday night.?

Having done well with Newcastle in 2007, Sean realises things did not go so well last season. ?My first year at Newcastle was fantastic, I really felt I showed I could ride competitively in the Premier League. Last year started with a lot of potential but fell flat on its face really.

?I had a lot of bad luck with machinery, and a few nasty crashes as well. It was a bit of a stop-start year, every time I started to get going something else would happen to take the wind out of my sails.

?One of the frustrating things was that you never really knew what the track was going to be like. At Armadale you always know it is going to be great.

?There were a lot of factors last season, the team losing a lot of home matches had a knock-on effect on team spirit and by the end we were glad to see the back of it.

?There are two new bikes waiting for me, I just have to clear some space in the garage for them. I've been selling a lot of my older stuff which was past its sell-by date in terms of competitiveness in the Premier League.

?I'll be starting at reserve with Monarchs whereas I was up in the team for probably three-quarters of last season, that came perhaps slightly too soon.

?At Armadale I know the track well, you know what you are turning up to every week and I am really looking forward to it. Last year I lost a point to a point and a half on my average so I am expecting to put at least that back on and hopefully more.?

Announcements regarding the remaining two places are expected early this week.

EDINBURGH SCOTWASTE MONARCHS 2009: Ryan Fisher, Andrew Tully, Matthew Wethers, Tomas H Jonasson, Sean Stoddart.