Steve Worrall wants to pledge his short-term speedway future to Edinburgh Monarchs, but the sport’s rules could stop the St Helens-based star in his tyre tracks.
Worrall has been a revelation for Monarchs so far this season and recently signed to ride for Belle Vue Aces in the Elite League in 2015.
Although Belle Vue’s Monday race night would not interfere with Monarchs’ home fixtures, it would impact on their away meetings, with Belle Vue having first call on his services.
That could rule out a return to Armadale for the popular Englishman, who was on the draft list of National League riders ‘fast-tracked’ into reserve positions with top-flight sides this year and was swiftly snapped up by Swindon Robins.
Worrall is keen to continue his Scottish adventure and said today: “I would definitely like to be back with Edinburgh next year but it’s unclear at this stage what the rules will be concerning doubling up in the Premier League. No Premier League clubs race on a Monday, so it could be okay for me to sign for Edinburgh again.”
Worrall admits he has taken a big step in becoming a Belle Vue asset, but insists he has done it for the best of reasons. “When I signed for Belle Vue I was thinking about my future and they are planning to move into a brand new stadium in Manchester.
“I’d like to be part of that when it comes off. I think a lot of riders will feel the same and there will be a queue to ride for Belle Vue.
“Getting in now and becoming one of their assets is something I hope will pay off for me in the long term.”
Monarchs team manager and British Speedway Promoters’ Association chairman Alex Harkess said: “If he was to double up again next season it would be a problem because Belle Vue would have priority on his services when they ride in midweek or a Thursday and that would clash with some of our away matches because he would not be available to us.
“That is something we would have to look at very closely. Obviously we would love to have him back, in fact all seven of our team say they want to return next season, but the rules will not allow that to happen and we will probably have to de-strengthen over the winter.
“Steve would not be a ‘fast track’ rider next season, he is way above that standard now and is a nine-point average performer in the Premier League.
“No one knows yet what the rules will be on doubling-up, they could well change. But if Steve was not going to be available to us for certain fixtures we would have to think very hard about that prospect indeed.”
Meanwhile, Monarchs will be at full strength at Armadale tonight for the visit of border neighbours Berwick Bandits, whose recent 48-41 league victory over the Capital outfit at Shielfield Park sparked suggestions that Monarchs were on the slide, claims that have since been rebuffed by the management.
Despite the fact Berwick are fourth in the table with their play-off berth guaranteed, their record at Armadale is pretty poor, as evidenced by the 67 points Monarchs racked up against them last month in the Knockout Cup.
Berwick arrive off the back of a creditable 49-43 win over leaders Somerset Rebels at the weekend, despite missing three of their regular squad.
It was a result which had their team boss John Anderson purring. “That was our toughest test of the season so far, but our desire to win was at maximum power and it was a superb performance by us to secure two valuable league points,” he said. “Edinburgh, round Armadale, is always a challenging fixture for us.”
Harkess added: “On paper it should be a comfortable win for us. Aaron (Fox) is back from injury which will help, but Berwick are going well this season so we certainly cannot take anything for granted against them.”