Speedway: Helfer to give Monarchs a helping hand

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German speedway star Marcel Helfer today officially joined Edinburgh Monarchs as their new reserve rider, replacing Englishman Charles Wright, and will make his debut against Glasgow Tigers in Friday’s Knockout Cup quarter- final second leg tie at Armadale.

The 21-year-old has compiled some impressive results on the continent – he was top scorer for Germany in the Under-21 World Team Cup qualifying meeting – and he has also defeated Newcastle’s duo of Stuart Robson and Mark Lemon in the German Open championship. He also has some experience of the Monarchs, as he was present at the Armadale outfit’s pre-season practice day.

Helfer, who arrives in the Capital later today, is viewed as a long-term prospect for Monarchs, who hope his partnership with Micky Dyer will prove a fruitful one.

Monarchs co-promoter Alex Harkess said: “We were a bit under the overall team points limit and felt we should utilise the difference to strengthen the lower end of the team because apart from our win at Glasgow on Sunday, we have not been successful away from home so far.

“That said, it is always difficult to say goodbye to a rider and we wish Charles every success in the future. He certainly left us on a high by winning his last ride at Glasgow.”

The departing Wright said: “It’s a bit frustrating to be leaving Monarchs because I had just got to know everybody and I felt really good after winning heat 14 at Glasgow, but the Monarchs management gave me a good run and I thank them for that.”