Edinburgh Monarchs today completed their 2013 squad by re-signing young German star Marcel Helfer, who will partner Jozsef Tabaka at reserve.
Despite Byron Bekker and James Sarjeant being tipped to fill the final spot, Monarchs have decided to give the 21-year-old a second chance despite his failure to make any real impact over the second half of last season.
Helfer, who is hoping to get an engine specifically set up for the home Armadale track from former Monarchs legend Peter Carr, said: “I’m delighted to be back with Monarchs for a full season this time, it was the only club I wanted to be with.
“I know I still have very much to learn. Last season was not the best for me, it rained almost every week and I just could not handle the wet tracks. My machinery was not set-up to cope with such heavy racing conditions and I know I need to be a lot more competitive and score well for the team.
“I did make some good gates and, when I did, I managed to win the odd race. I just need to be more consistent from the tapes and make sure I hit the first bend on level terms with my opponents. I had not seen a lot of the Premier League tracks before but will be more familiar with some of them this season.”
Monarchs co-promoter John Campbell revealed that after they had secured the signature of new Aussie Max Fricke, this cleared the way for Helfer to return. “Marcel was the man who pushed me from early on during the close season saying he was available and wanted to come back.
“Marcel is still going through a learning process but feels both he and the club will benefit greatly from his second spell in our colours. He is certainly no quitter, it would have been easy, after the year he endured, to say he’d had enough and didn’t want to come back, but there was never any suggestion of that because he is such a very positive young man.
“Marcel has shown he has the ability and he can beat good riders. I don’t think that was necessarily an attribute of the other available three-point riders; Marcel was always our first option. He feels he can score more than three points per meeting and if he does we will be very happy – if he scores six that would be great!”
Monarchs ace Sam Masters, meanwhile, scored ten points in yesterday’s second round of the Australian Final in Victoria.
Monarchs squad: Craig Cook, Derek Sneddon, Sam Masters, Theo Pijper, Max Fricke, Jozsef Tabaka, Marcel Helfer.