Edinburgh Monarchs No. 1 Craig Cook today said he is determined to lead the Capital speedway outfit to a fourth league crown next season, which would be a fitting swansong for the 25-year-old Cumbrian as he plans to quit the Premier League to race full-time in the Elite League from 2014.
Cook has agreed terms with Monarchs to return to Armadale for a third spell and despite wage restraints in force within the lower division, Monarchs have gone the extra mile to ensure their top asset would lead them again, but Cook
insisted the deal is a good one for both Monarchs and himself. He said: “I’m glad everything is sorted out, I wanted everything in place before Christmas so that I can get my bikes ready and start to focus on next year, I’m happy because there is no club I’d rather be at than Edinburgh.
“I think myself and Monarchs are delighted that we have reached agreement over wages and I don’t think I pushed
the boat out over personal terms, I feel I’ve got what I
“I haven’t been greedy
because everybody knows money is tight within the sport right now and you have to be sensible about such matters.”
Cook has never been short of ambition and acknowledged his long-term future lies in the top flight. “I’m going to make a real go of it in 2013 as it will probably be my last year at Premier League level, I need to be in the Elite League and also riding in Sweden and Poland in 2014. It’s where I need to be to get to the top.
“I know where I’m heading and I must have a solid and productive season in the Premier League. One of my aims next year is to make the British Grand Prix in Cardiff, I missed out this year because I was injured – and injuries are something I must try and avoid, although sometimes they cannot be avoided.
“They wrecked my season to a degree this year and I was disappointed with that.”
Cook has always been a strong character in the Monarchs pits and isn’t backward about coming forward if he feels things aren’t going smoothly, but he is already enthused about Monarchs’ silverware hopes and is overjoyed with the recent signing of Australian Sam Masters.
“It’s a brilliant signing,” said Cook, “and Sam will probably ride like a man possessed because he has a point to prove after Somerset dropped him from their team in the summer.
“Our team, at the moment is looking good, and having Jozsef Tabaka back at reserve is fantastic, he could probably add four points to his average.
“Theo Pijper is also solid and he was always going to be back because he rides Armadale so well.”
Cook will continue to double-up with Belle Vue Aces in the Elite League.