Speedway: Monarchs skipper Wethers axed from next year’s side

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EDINBURGH MONARCHS have axed long serving skipper Matthew Wethers from their 2013 squad, and his teammate and friend Andrew Tully will also not be returning to Armadale next season after asking not to be considered for a team berth.

Tully feels a change of track will be beneficial to him at this stage of his career. Both riders’ will now go out on loan to new clubs.

The surprise move was made by Monarchs new board of directors at a meeting in midweek and is perhaps an indication that the club intend to move in a new direction following the substantial injection of cash pledged by supporters and others which saved the club from closure two weeks ago.

Wethers, who was given a Testimonial meeting in August after ten years’ service, had a very disappointing 2012 campaign and was plagued by machine problems for much of the time. Tully was satisfactory at home, but his away record was nothing short of dreadful.

Promoter Alex Harkess who publicly defended Tully’s scoring record three days ago, said: “Andrew made a couple of calls to the club confirming he wanted to move on and we respect the decision he has made. I’m not sure if he is doing the right thing. I stick to my words about him that he was a ten-point rider round Armadale and will be difficult to replace.

“He won’t be a ten-point rider at whichever club he joins and will still need to do better away from home.

“As for Matthew, he did not have a good season in 2012 and saw his average drop and after ten years with the club it was felt a change was needed in this area. We have a blueprint of about eight different team formations and must wait and see which one becomes a reality.”

Asked if the board felt duty bound to shake things up, Harkess replied: “We were not under pressure to make changes, but in Matthew’s case we were not sure if he would be able to turn things around next season after struggling on occasions.”

German ace Kevin Wolbert, who was the club’s No 1 in 2011 and a league title winner in 2010, and Aussie Micky Dyer will also be offered out on loan.