EDINBURGH MONARCHS today revealed they are almost certain to sell their star German rider Kevin Wolbert to Elite League side King’s Lynn Stars, if they can agree a fair asking price.
Wolbert quit his No. 1 role at Armadale last season and was snapped up by the Norfolk outfit on a one-year loan deal after a planned move to Elite champions Poole Pirates fell through. But Monarchs chief Alex Harkess is intent on securing a permanent deal for the German.
“We would be happy to sell Kevin if we get the right price, however we have not struck any deal yet and he is on loan to King’s Lynn for this season at the moment. If we feel we can get the correct price we are looking for, then of course Kevin is saleable, and being a foreign rider we’d take the money in the bank anytime.”
King’s Lynn did make an offer for Wolbert in December, but the clubs are no nearer settling on a fee.
Harkess added: “Kevin doesn’t see his future in this country riding for a club who operate at weekends. Kevin rides in Poland at the weekend and that’s why the Elite League was an attraction to him because nearly all of the fixtures take place in midweek.
“It would be a good piece of business for us to sell Kevin, that’s the name of the game. Besides we are not short of assets, six of our team this season belong to us, and so will our new Aussie Micky Dyer providing he completes the required amount of matches.”
Meanwhile, Craig Cook has still to sign a contract despite being named in Monarchs’ starting line-up, but Harkess says there is nothing to concern him over the delay. “There is no problem and Craig is happy that he is riding for us again. I understand he has family problems, one of his relatives is ill, which has prevented him from putting pen to paper. I have no concerns at all.”
This season promises to be a special one for skipper Matthew Wethers who is celebrating ten years with Monarchs and will be honoured with a testimonial meeting during the summer in recognition of this milestone.
Wethers, who became a father for the first time last season, has been a model of consistency over the years, but his average dipped slightly in 2011 and Wethers admitted the latter part of the campaign proved disappointing.
He said: “I felt that the last three months of the season did not really go to plan, up until then I had felt quite happy. I was riding quite well, then it went downhill.
“It’s hard to pinpoint the reason why, though I did have a couple of crashes. I had a bad one at Glasgow and really suffered with back problems following that spill. I also crashed at Somerset when I fell in front of Kyle Howarth, such things happen, it’s part of speedway.”
Wethers has captained Monarchs for the last three seasons and will be reunited with former skipper Derek Sneddon this year.
It’s often been debated that the popular Australian might have benefited from a spell away from Monarchs, but Wethers says: “You can look at it both ways. It’s good to be at one club because it’s like a home, you know everyone and you get sponsors.
“Maybe I could have done with getting more experience elsewhere and perhaps learned more, but I’m happy with my career.”
Wethers is renowned for reliable equipment and is already planning for the new season which starts in March.
“I always like to update my bikes, you have to spend money to make money, and I’m in the process of sorting that out.”
Wethers led Monarchs to their third championship crown in 2010 and will be anxious to prise the title away from rivals Glasgow Tigers who were runaway champions in 2011.