NEWS Friday 13th December 2013, 9:00am
The Scotwaste Monarchs have completed their team for the 2014 season with the addition of Max Fricke, Derek Sneddon and American Aaron Fox to the previously announced Craig Cook, Sam Masters, Justin Sedgmen and Stevie Worrall.
Everyone expected that Max would be back, and Derek will resume the captaincy which this year will involve welding together some new faces. The name nobody expected up till maybe a month ago when he started chipping in on Monarchs’ internet sites is the 26-year old American Fox, who comes highly recommended from the States by Team USA Director Steve Evans and others. He names ex-World Champions Billy Hamill and Greg Hancock as his mentors!
Fox has ridden here previously, riding in Wolverhampton’s Olympique in 2012 and on a tour by the American Dream Team earlier that season, winning races at Buxton and Rye House.
He said “The tour was a last minute thing and I wasn’t really prepared for it. At Wolverhampton there were 10 or 12 Elite League riders in that. It wasn’t too bad a meeting for me, it let me figure out what I needed to do and get back home to kick start things. I’m ready to go now.”
He’s a late starter in Speedway (May 2010 first ride) but has a sporting background. “I did motocross growing up, and stopped when I was about 16. Then I played golf for about four years at college. Then I picked up speedway. One of my buddies at High School, he rode.
“My dad raced sidecars back in the late eighties, early nineties. So I was around speedway from an early age.”
Unusually Aaron has issued his own press release, clearly he is well prepared for all aspects of speedway, and in that he says “It has been a goal and dream of mine to race in the British League since I first threw a leg over a bike in May of 2010. I’ve finally been given the opportunity to fulfill that goal with the Monarchs. I could not have asked for a better promoter than Mr. Campbell to see the potential in me and have me a part of their club. Mr. Campbell was keen to work with me and seemed eager to get me on board. I can’t thank him enough as this is the exact scenario I’ve looked for since seeking a Premier League spot.”
Aaron believes he will be well prepared for the challenge ahead, after being initially wary that he would not have enough machinery. He said “I’ve got a couple of folks on board to help me with things which has enabled me to feel I’m ready to go for it. Racing here I’ve competed with just one bike, no spare parts, I just do it at the bare minimum. I had a good bike but I ended up crashing in the nationals, crashing into the wall, so I’m building a new bike at the moment.
“I’ve got a lot to do but nothing that can’t be done! I probably will get to the UK in late February, 1st March at the latest. I haven’t come across any of the Edinburgh riders yet other than Craig on Twitter!
“I’ve watched a few videos of Armadale, it looks great and I can’t wait to ride it.”
It is true that he is currently injured, but he will be fit by the end of this month. “I broke my clavicle in the middle of last month, I was told it would take four weeks to heal and I wouldn’t need surgery. When I went back on Tuesday I was told it would need surgery. But I should be ready to start riding and training again in three weeks, by the start of the new year.”
Team USA Director Steve Evans was instrumental both in recommending Aaron to Monarchs, and in helping him find the backing he needs. He said “I am very excited for both Aaron and Edinburgh Speedway about this signing for 2014. It is only just over three years since Aaron first stepped on a speedway bike, and in this time he has made very good progress. 2013 was a big leap for him -runner up in National and State Championships, but it was his performance on the European size Ventura track in June that showed he was ready for this. He is utterly dedicated and professional, which seems a good match considering the detail and care given by Edinburgh Speedway in this move. Having had Faria and Fisher in the recent past, it is good news another American comes to a great club and city."
Of course we are very happy to have both Max Fricke and Derek Sneddon back, and will bring you their thoughts in the next few days.
Jozsef Tabaka’s bad leg injury meant that he was not considered for the team, though he knows he is still in the club’s future plans. Mitchell Davey also from last year’s side is struggling to recover from his leg injury, and we wish both a speedy recovery.
It’s an unusual Monarchs’ team without long term club legends such as Matthew Wethers, Andrew Tully and Theo Pijper, and no-one would ever rule out any of the club’s asset riders coming back in due course, but for this year it is a new-look team attempting to continue the successes Armadale supporters have become used to.
2014 team: Craig Cook, Derek Sneddon, Max Fricke, Justin Sedgmen, Sam Masters, Aaron Fox, Stevie Worrall.