Edinburgh Monarchs’ new reserve signing, Steve Worrall, believes his debut in the Capital speedway club’s colours at Armadale next season will help mark a new chapter in his career and banish the nightmare campaign he endured in 2013.
Worrall, who dropped down to the National League in the summer to help rekindle his shattered confidence after quitting his club Newcastle Diamonds because he wasn’t scoring heavily enough, feels he is now ready to make his mark again in the Premier League .
He said: “I’m glad everything has worked out. I received a few offers from other teams, but I had an idea of where I wanted to go and Edinburgh turned out to be the best bet especially after I scored 12 points at Armadale guesting for Ipswich Witches towards the end of last season. Monarchs are a team who lways make a good push to win the championship and, when a team is winning, everything is better. The atmosphere in the pits is always good. Riders thrive on that and it makes you turn in better performances.
“It’s better to be in a winning squad, and from the riders I know are at Edinburgh already, it looks as if they are going to have a strong team again next season and I feel happy about that.”
Monarchs’ reserve berths have often proved problematic and Worrall, who comes in on a very attractive three-point average, is seen as the ideal antidote to cure those ills at the tail-end.
“I don’t feel under any pressure, because I know what I can do,” he said. “I know what I should be doing and I should have done it last season!
“But I had big problems with my machinery and I was blaming myself rather than the bike. Coming from a moto-cross background that is what you do.
“Nothing ever goes wrong with moto-cross bikes but speedway bikes, there are hundred of things that can go wrong with them.”
This mechanical meltdown drove Worrall to despair but, after jumping on one of older brother Richie’s bikes towards the end of last season, he enjoyed an upsurge in fortune.
“So next season I will start where I left off and hopefully things will be the same. If you ride well you gain in confidence, everybody knows that.”
Worrall added: “Last season really was a nightmare for me in so many ways. It was also frustrating. You know how well you should be doing and when it doesn’t happen, you wonder why, and it’s hard to figure out.
“Yet, at the start of 2013, I was banging in some big scores, but after that strong spell, everything just went downhill and it started to play on my mind.
“I was with Newcastle and felt because of my poor scoring I was letting the whole team down, so I asked to leave. At first, their team manager, George English, suggested I try to ride through my slump. I told him I couldn’t. So I dropped down to the National League where you can afford to make changes to your bikes but still win races, and I started to feel the benefit and began to pick up a fair few points, and that did me so much good just from a mental perspective.”
Worrall’s dazzling dozen-point display for Ipswich against Monarchs opened up people’s eyes to the possibility that he could be a steal for Monarchs at reserve in 2014. Prompted by a recommendation from Craig Cook, the 22-year-old ace was unveiled for next season.
“I was on the crest of a wave that night,” remembers Worrall. “I had completed a run of good meetings and I just went out to enjoy myself.
“Everything worked out perfectly for me. I just hope I haven’t made a rod for my own back after scoring 12. One of the reasons I rode so convincingly is the fact I like Armadale as a track, I have always ridden it quite well and it should be a good home circuit for me next year.”
Worrall is convinced he can push up his starting average, stating: “I’d like to think so. I have certain goals that I have set myself for 2014. I think I should score in every meeting … perhaps not 12 every time, although I would like to!
“I’m really looking forward to my new career with Monarchs because I was tempted to rejoin Newcastle. But sometimes it’s good to have a change, otherwise you can easily get stuck in a rut. So come March, I’ll be at Armadale, guns blazing, surrounded by new people and new team-mates. I can’t wait.”