Edinburgh Monarchs’ new reserve signing Charles Wright insists he is the man to help the speedway club solve their tail-end scoring woes.
Monarchs are banking on the 23 year-old Englishman to breathe new life into their ailing reserve berths and their Premier League title challenge could well depend on how successful Wright, and his Aussie partner Micky Dyer, handle the pressure.
Given the litany of previous occupants who have underperformed to an alarming degree, Wright could be forgiven for thinking he hasn’t got too much to live up to. But the Stockport born racer has personal reasons to repay Monarchs’ faith in him after he was dumped by Workington Comets and Leicester Lions in 2011 – a campaign he was glad to see the back of.
Wright is convinced his move north of the Border can help get his career back on track. He said: “Joining Edinburgh will be good for me, it’s something different, a new track and a new challenge and I’m looking forward to it.
“I think I was a bit unlucky last season. I was riding well enough, but some teams made changes over the course of the season and I think I drew the short straw in losing my place, not just once, but twice.”
Wright rode in tandem with older brother James at Workington at one stage, and confessed being shown the exit door came as a jolt, saying: “I was surprised they let me go and I think Workington expected a bit too much from me. I was paid well and they required you to do a good job but sometimes, when you are under pressure, you don’t perform as well as you should.”
His confidence then suffered another battering when Leicester decided to release him in August. “That came as a bigger surprise than Workington. The fans loved me at Leicester and wanted to see me back there this season, they were shocked when they let me go.
“Leicester was a new track and I couldn’t get to grips with the place, my average was actually higher away from home and perhaps that was a factor.
“Leicester had not yet developed into a proper racing circuit, you couldn’t pass and if you couldn’t fight your way from the back you didn’t win races. But even though I couldn’t get out of the gate I always gave it my all and I think that’s why the Leicester fans liked me, I never gave up.”
Wright had to cool his heels after failing to find a new club after leaving Leicester and admits he harboured worries about the prospects of getting fixed up in the Premier League for 2012. “I did begin to think that no club would come in for me because I was dropped twice, that kind of thing can go against you, if promoters know you have been dropped they don’t want you.
“I need to be more consistent this season and probably fans have yet to see the best of me. I know I’ve a lot more to give and I’m improving every single year, I’m certainly not going backwards or anything like that. The Premier League gets harder every season because riders drop down from the Elite League and this makes it tough.”
Edinburgh raised a few eyebrows after revealing they had given Wright a contract and the rider himself revealed: “I was quite surprised they stepped in for me, but I’ve always heard good things about Edinburgh, they treat you well and give you a fair chance to prove yourself.
“They don’t chuck you out on your ear after a couple of bad meetings, they give you a proper run, and that’s what was in my head when I agreed terms. I had offers from two other Premier League teams, but I think Edinburgh is the right club for me. I like the Armadale track and have scored well there in the past. I know it’s been called a tricky track by others but I’m confident I’ll get used to it and it should offer a good home advantage.
“Monarchs boss John Campbell has already told me he doesn’t expect miracles, and when you don’t expect anything, that’s the best way sometimes.”
Wright carries the stigma of a rider who can’t avoid crashes but added: “Ironically, last season was the first time I’ve gone through a campaign free of injury in a long time, but it’s not because of me crashing myself, it’s been other people who have done me in. My luck has to turn around, but for all riders it’s an occupational hazard.”
Wright has set himself goals but said: “I’m not saying what they are. I want to keep them to myself. But I think I can add a couple of points to my average, I’m capable of that.”
Meanwhile former Monarch Max Dilger, who was rumoured to be returning to Armadale this season, has been sold to rivals Redcar Bears.