Australian ace Justin Sedgmen has quit Edinburgh Monarchs to join Swindon Robins full-time in speedway’s Elite League next season.
The 23 year-old, who has helped Monarchs to successive Premier League titles in the past two seasons, said: “I’m over the moon to be going back to Swindon, who are my parent club. It’s somewhere that feels home to me in the UK. I’m confident I can make an impact for them in 2016.”
Sedgmen, pictured, had kept the deal under wraps despite saying he wanted to be back at Armadale come the spring. However, he pointed out: “I made no secret last season that I wanted to ride in the Elite League. I’m at a stage in my career that I feel ready to take on the challenge of competing in the top flight.
“I’m under no illusions about how difficult it will be. It’s a big step up from life in the Premier League, but it’s a move I need to make to further my speedway career.”
Monarchs team manager Alex Harkess stressed the news did not come as a shock, revealing: “Swindon told us last season they planned to use Justin in 2016. A deal was struck two weeks ago and it was down to Swindon as to when they officially announced it.
“Because Justin is a Swindon asset, even if he had doubled-up for them, they would have had priority on his services. Swindon is a Thursday night track so Justin would have missed quite a lot of Edinburgh fixtures. That’s why he did not figure in our team-building plans. He has also signed for a Danish club who ride on a Friday and that would have been no good to us either.”
Harkess added: “Justin has been a tremendous rider for us over the last two years and you don’t want to lose someone like that, but that’s the way of the world and we now move on.
As well as Segdmen, Monarchs must also replace skipper Craig Cook, who has left the club to race in Europe.
“We had to lose two riders anyway,” added Harkess, “Because we were over the points limit, now we know which direction to go down to try and build our squad for next season.”
It now becomes critical that Sam Masters gets back on board. But, according to a Monarchs source, Masters is still undecided about his plans for 2016.