Image Credit: Ron MacNeill

Farewell - For Now - To Captain Sam

NEWS Thursday 30th November 2017, 8:00pm

by Mike Hunter

One major change coming up for the 2018 Monarchs next summer is that Sam Masters, team captain for the past two seasons and an inspirational team member since 2014, won’t be in the side as he has decided that he must miss out on Championship-level racing.

It was no secret that in the latter stages of the 2017 season Sam felt burnt-out as his number of fixtures soared into 3 figures, as well as suffering injury. He still had some brilliant matches but was more inconsistent than usual.

He said “I was way too busy and need to drop a league to progress further with my career, and unfortunately it has to be the Championship. It disappoints me a lot as my best years of racing have been there, thank you for everything I'm sure I will see you guys during the season. I hope to be back at Edinburgh again as there is no other club I would ride for in the Championship.”

Sam actually agreed to ride for Edinburgh in 2013 but missed out on that season as he could not get a visa. He joined us for real in 2014 in our most successful team ever.

Amongst his distinctions, he is the ONLY rider to win all of the available honours at Premier League level – League Championship, Knockout Cup, Premier Trophy, Fours, Pairs and Riders Championship. All bar the Riders Championship were won in Monarchs colours.

Not only that, he had with Craig Cook the distinction of scoring the league-winning 5-1 in the Playoff Finals two years running – 2014 and 2015!

So to say his time with Edinburgh has been distinguished is an understatement. But for now he follows the path taken in previous years by riders such as Rory Schlein, Max Fricke and Craig Cook who left the club to see how far they could go in their careers. We wish him every success and thank him for the huge contribution he has made to the club.

There will be some news very soon on riders who will be riding for us in 2018.