Boost for Monarchs as Cook snubs move to Elite League

Craig Cook with the Premier League riders' championship trophy. Picture: Ron MacNeill

Craig Cook with the Premier League riders' championship trophy. Picture: Ron MacNeill

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Edinburgh Monarchs’ defeat in the Premier League play-off Grand Final against Somerset Rebels has been tempered with the news that No. 1 Craig Cook will almost certainly be back at Armadale in 2014 after deciding that a proposed move into the Elite League would lose him money.

The Whitehaven-born rider has been pondering a move to the top flight on a permanent basis for months, but now admits: “If I moved into the Elite League it would not be financially viable for me.”

Cook, who doubles-up for Belle Vue Aces and also skippers the Manchester outfit, is still keen to further his career – and that desire could see him ply his trade in Europe next season while continuing to lead Monarchs in their quest for a fourth championship crown.

Cook has proved something of an inspirational figure for the Aces and represented them brilliantly in some of British speedway’s biggest events. And, of course, his form for Monarchs has been nothing short of sensational, helping them capture their only silverware of the year when they lifted the Premier League Fours crown at Peterborough in July.

Cook is keen to establish himself overseas, feeling he must broaden his horizons if he is to continue his push to the top. “I want to double-up once more next season providing the rules allow this again. Speedway is my job, and I keep telling everybody this, but for me to make a decent living I have to do what is best for me, and jumping up to the Elite League is not the answer at this moment in time.

“Trying to ride abroad is probably the best thing I can try until I get established in Europe. So I won’t be saying goodbye to the Premier League just yet.”

Meanwhile, Monarchs are to hold ‘An evening with Craig Cook’ event on Friday, November 29, to raise funds for the compulsory installation of an air fence at Armadale next season. More details to be announced.