Fa­mil­iar faces are back at Mon­archs

Erik, Mark, Ricky and Josh re­turn to cap­i­tal

West Lothian Courier - - Sports - Cal­lum Car­son

The Ed­in­burgh Mon­archs an­nounced their first sign­ings of the 2018 sea­son – and it’s four fa­mil­iar faces.

Ger­man broth­ers Erik and Mark Riss have put pen to pa­per for next sea­son and they will be joined by Ricky Wells and Josh Pick­er­ing.

All four rid­ers were part of the ros­ter last sea­son.

All four re­turnees were an­nounced in front of an ex­cited fan base at the club’s video night last week.

Aussie Pick­er­ing took a while to get go­ing for the club last term but im­proved through­out the sea­son and showed enough po­ten­tial to earn a new deal.

And the young­ster ad­mits he’s chal­leng­ing him­self to get bet­ter in year two at the Ar­madale Sta­dium.

He said: “It’s a mas­sive learn­ing curve but I have learnt a lot about speed­way and also my­self. I’m aim­ing to get out of the gate bet­ter next sea­son.

“I know this is an im­por­tant part of rac­ing be­cause it is not al­ways the quick­est rider who wins.

“I did have a few of­fers from other teams but I al­ways wanted to come back to Ed­in­burgh be­cause I felt very wel­come there and part of a team.

“We were treated with re­spect and my part­ner Brooke felt the same way.”

He added: “Although the chance to dou­ble up hasn’t come my way yet I’d grab it with both hands if it did.”

Pick­er­ing has been in ac­tion in his na­tive Aus­tralia over the win­ter and claimed an im­pres­sive sec­ond place in the New South Wales Cham­pi­onship at the week­end.

He fin­ished be­hind fel­low SGB Cham­pi­onship rider Ro­han Tun­gate but pipped Jack Holder to the sil­ver medal po­si­tion.

Vet­eran Amer­i­can rider Wells ad­mit­ted he also jumped at the chance to re­turn to West Loth­ian and is tar­get­ing the num­ber one spot that has been va­cated by Masters.

He said: “Last sea­son was good. A great sea­son for the club. We reached the semi- fi­nals of the Play-Offs and just lost by a cou­ple of points. Over­all I was very happy last year and I haven’t been at a bet­ter Cham­pi­onship club.”

He added: “I didn’t re­ally want to go any­where else if I’m hon­est. It’s great to be back and to be fixed up for the first week in De­cem­ber is great as well be­cause it will help me get or­gan­ised.

“I hadn’t ac­tu­ally re­alised I’d put a point on my av­er­age and I see no rea­son why I can’t do that again next sea­son. I want to ride at num­ber one but who­ever fills the other six spots in the team should also be look­ing and say they want to be num­ber one.

“It’s good to have that ri­valry in the team and we had a bit of that last year with me and Sam.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to it. The main goal is to main­tain or in­crease my av­er­age and do a true num­ber one’s job.”

Erik , the younger of the Riss broth­ers, has been a pleas­ant sur­prise for the Mon­archs and will be re­turn­ing for a fourth sea­son, hav­ing had roots in long track be­fore mak­ing the move to speed­way prior to the 2015 sea­son.

Mark, who is a year older, has taken to Bri­tish speed­way and is set for his sec­ond full sea­son with the Ar­madale-based club hav­ing orig­i­nally joined in June 2016.

With three ros­ter spots still to fill, the Mon­archs are ac­tively pur­su­ing tar­gets.

I al­ways wanted to come back to Ed­in­burgh be­cause I felt very wel­come and part of the team

Re­turn­ing Ricky Wells is back for the Mon­archs

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