Speedway: Who will be King of the Monarchs?

Kevin Wolbert or Ryan Fisher. That's the agonising dilemma Edinburgh Monarchs speedway bosses are facing over who fills the No.1 team position at Armadale next season.

Monarchs can only afford to fit one of them into their side and it's unclear who will eventually be given the nod to lead the team in the defence of their Premier League Championship crown in 2011.

Discussions have taken place with both riders but Fisher's situation has been complicated because of Coventry's decision to quit the Elite League. Coventry own Fisher's contract and at the moment no-one has been given permission to speak to any of their assets. Fisher and Wolbert are also eager to secure doubling-up roles in the top flight next season and Monarchs are keen to assist as it would help split financial costs.

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Wolbert had been linked to Wolverhampton but today Monarchs chairman Alex Harkess told the Evening News: "Wolves have shown no interest, I don't think they want somebody who will be flying out of the country each week.

"Obviously it would help if Kevin was to find a doubling-up berth in the Elite League, and there are a few places available.

"Costs could then be shared, and that would certainly be of benefit to us. But we also need to find out what Kevin's overseas commitments will be next year. Kevin says he doesn't want to ride in Poland because he didn't get paid last season, but the Poles are still offering big money. We need to find out where Kevin will be riding so we can plan our own fixtures accordingly.

"Ryan also wants to double-up but is planning to base himself in the Midlands, and that's not an ideal situation for us."

Monarchs co-promoter John Campbell who is in charge of rider signings, said: "The problem with the Elite League at the moment is unclear until the Coventry situation is resolved.

"There is a keeness to have a number of doubling-up riders in that division next year, but none of the clubs are committing themselves to anything right now.

"In Ryan's case he will just have to sit tight to see how things develop but no one knows how long this will be."

Campbell admits that choosing between Fisher and Wolbert will not be a particularly easy decision and might well hinge on the other prospective targets they have in their sights.

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"It will all depend on who would fit in and this will depend on the availability of the other riders we want in our team and although it may appear that X, Y, or Z are available to us, that is not the case.

"We can probably go and fix up five of our seven-man squad before we have to decide on our No.?1, but this is turning out not to be quite as easy as I had hoped, but we do have an absolute idea on the five members we want.

"It is a dilemma between Ryan and Kevin without a shadow of a doubt. I would love to have them both back, but we cannot do this the way things are shaping up at the moment, and we probably couldn't afford to do that ever again in the future anyway.

"Until the rules were changed on doubling-up at the Promoters' AGM, we were set to go down the route of choosing Kevin but we have had to look at our options again and it's fair to say that everybody who rode for us last season wants to ride for us again."

Monarchs already have skipper Matthew Wethers and Andrew Tully on their roster for 2011, have also offered a contract to Finnish ace Kalle Katajisto who provided so much entertainment from the reserve berth for much of last season.

"Kalle doesn't rush things," added Harkess, "but there is absolutely no problem with him coming back again."