Return for Ryan and debut for Jye! Image Credit: Jack Cupido

Elite Stars Open Our Season

NEWS Wednesday 30th March 2016, 10:20am

by Mike Hunter

The Border Roofing Monarchs are back in action at last this Friday with a visit from the team who came second in last year’s Elite League, the Belle Vue Aces.

This of course means that Craig Cook, Max Fricke and Steve Worrall, all league-winning Monarchs in the last couple of years, will be in the visiting side. Clearly the Aces are very formidable but we will get a chance to see how the Monarchs’ three new boys shape up against them.

RICKY AND THEO RIDE: Sam Masters and Max Clegg will be riding in the Elite League for Wolverhampton at Coventry on Friday, so Monarchs have drafted in for the night Workington’s Ricky Wells and Berwick’s Theo Pijper.

Fixture clashes have very rarely affected our matches, and this will continue to be the case for the remainder of the season (it’s an important factor in our team building), but for this challenge match the Elite fixture takes precedence.

CAPTAIN’S COMMENTS: Sam Masters will assume the captaincy this season, and he believes that within the team there is the potential for riders to raise their average, the factor which everyone believes makes for a successful team.

“I think everyone could and probably should put a bit on their average. I know Fisher’s definitely a better rider than his average, he’s really a number one, and Kevin showed in the second half of last season that he is really a number one as well.

“As for myself, I struggled a little bit with injury last season, so I think I can raise my average.

“Erik seems pretty keen for the season and so does Max, so I expect them to do well this year.

“The only one we don’t really need to put pressure on to up his average is Jye, he’ll be going to new tracks and it’s difficult going to them for the first time. Hopefully he’ll be scoring well by the end of the year when it’s important. “

TRICENNIAL TROPHY: Do you know what Tricennial means? It means ‘relating to 30’, and it’s the name of the trophy we are racing for on Friday. That’s because the current promotion of speedway at Armadale was formed in 1986 and is celebrating 30 years this season. Thirty years of fun, excitement, ups, downs, triumphs and struggles. That’s speedway.

LEAGUE CUP: Our defence of the League Cup starts with a very hard away match at Glasgow on Sunday. Both teams will be at full strength.

Teams for the Inter-League Challenge Match for the Tricennial Trophy at Armadale on Friday 1st April (start time (7:30pm, gates open 6:30pm), are:

EDINBURGH BORDER ROOFING MONARCHS: Ricky Wells (guest), Theo Pijper (guest), Kevin Wolbert, Erik Riss, Ryan Fisher, Jye Etheridge, Dan Bewley.

BELLE VUE RENTRUCK ACES: Craig Cook, Steve Worrall, Max Fricke, Richie Worrall, Scott Nicholls, Joe Jacobs, Matt Williamson.

MOMENTOUS SEASON FOR ACES: This year Belle Vue, probably the World’s most famous speedway team, will move into the new National Stadium in Manchester. Although they recently had an embarrassing false start with the postponement of the scheduled opener (with a big crowd in the stadium) it should still be the finest venue for the sport in the UK.

They also seem to have a team to match. Runners-up last year in a thrilling finale to the Elite League, they must be very strong contenders this time round. Even though they are not bringing their GP star Matej Zagar, their top five are all top-class riders as well as Armadale specialists (though 7 times British Champion Scott Nicholls hasn’t ridden our track since 1998!)

Craig Cook has been top Monarch for most of the five seasons he has been with us, and three-time Aussie Under-21 Champion Max Fricke is one of the fastest-rising stars of the sport. He and Steve Worrall were members of our never-to-be-forgotten Incredible Monarchs of 2014.

Richie Worrall, now with Glasgow as well as Belle Vue, is also an Armadale specialist.

MEETING SPONSORS – AND A CELEBRATION!: Friday’s meeting will be sponsored by Border Roofing, our team sponsors. Normally that would mean that they would bring a party to the George Hunter Memorial Lounge but instead they have insisted that part of our Hospitality area should be reserved for long-time supporter Sheila Webber who celebrates her ninetieth birthday on Friday!

WEBSITE AND PROGRAMME: The club have launched a new website this week, designed and built by the Campbell boys, and the match programme will also be fairly different in design after being largely unchanged for a few years. It will increase to 32 pages, with a matt centre for easier writing (something supporters have been clamouring for). The programme price will be £2.80.

LAST MEETING: The Border Roofing Monarchs clinched the Premier League for the second year running on 17th October last year when they defeated Glasgow 58-32 at Armadale to overturn the 7-point defeat the night before in the away leg.

NEXT MEETING: On Friday 8th April we will be visited by Berwick Bandits in the League Cup. The Bandits track former Monarchs Theo Pijper and Matthew Wethers plus Thomas Jorgensen, Kevin Doolan, Liam Carr and two Swedes – Seb Alden and Anders Mellgren.