Justin Sedgmen today revealed he wants to become a speedway hero for Edinburgh Monarchs next season.
The young Australian is the first rider on the team roster for 2015 and expressed a desire to build upon the success he enjoyed in 2014 when he helped the Capital side to a trophy treble, which included a fourth Premier League championship.
But Sedgmen isn’t about to rest on his laurels and has his sights trained on becoming a possible heat leader in the squad and would love to represent Monarchs in the Premier League Riders’ individual Championship in the future.
Sedgmen did a superb job from the difficult No.2 berth and added two points to his starting average over the course of last season. He was also a selfless performer in the mould of former skipper Matthew Wethers, by racking up a huge number of bonus points, more than anybody else in the league.
Sedgmen said: “You certainly can’t afford to stand still in this sport and I just hope I can improve again next year. That is always my plan and to make sure I’m heading in the right direction in terms of mapping out my career.
“I personally want to be one of the top guys in the team – one that people can rely on, a bit of a hero as they say.”
Sedgmen was hired on the recommendation of Max Fricke’s father Rodger, and despite doubts in some quarters, Monarchs had no cause to regret his appointment. Sedgmen, who sat out the UK season in 2013, reflected: “I hadn’t enjoyed myself much the previous year, and that definitely affected me to a degree. But when Edinburgh came after me last season I was pretty happy to resume my career in Britain. And to be part of what turned out to be such a successful team was a dream come true, really. Edinburgh is such a good club to be involved with and this helped me so much to settle back down in the Premier League.”
Having raised his average to a commendable 6.99 figure, Sedgmen admits it could be difficult to add further currency to that mark, but says: “If I can maintain that average, or even raise it a little, that would be fantastic because I want to become one of the top riders in the Premier League.
“And that is what I will be setting out to achieve. I would like to be involved in important meetings like the Premier League Riders’ Championship and Fours’ and Pairs’ events.”
It’s fair to say that Sedgmen occasionally felt his scoring efforts weren’t always fully recognised and added: “I definitely want to make the heat 15 top scorers’ race all the time. I want to step up because that is what you need to do, you require ambition to move forward.”
Sedgmen has already turned his attention to his machinery, and said: “I will probably be using the same bikes and I’m in the process of purchasing a couple of new engines. I’ve bought one so far.”
Sedgmen is not permitted to double-up in the Elite League due to visa restrictions, but plans to augment his income further afield. “It’s a pity about the doubling-up situation, but until it gets sorted out there is nothing any of us can do. But if I can get some open meeting bookings in Germany or somewhere like that, this will help me earn more money, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Monarchs’ co-promoter Alex Harkess is enthusiastic about Sedgmen’s return to Armadale. “It was very clear Justin wanted to come back and there was nowhere else he wanted to be and we are pleased he is on board.
“He did slip in a few not so good meetings last season. But he quickly became very established at home and he will pull his weight again.”
Harkess went on: “I know he wants to become a top man within the team and as long as he has ambition that’s fine. Only he can get himself there. And if he can add anything to his average we will be delighted. I don’t expect him to slip backwards in anyway, nor are we looking for him to add another two points to his average either – if he does, good on him.”
Asked whether Monarchs can emulate their achievements of 2014 next season, Sedgmen replied: “To improve on what we did will be a big ask, but even if we retain half the trophies we secured, that would still be regarded as very good.”