Craig Cook: I don’t have experience for Elite step-up

Craig Cook admits his long-term future could lie in the Premier League. Pic: Ron MacNeill
Craig Cook admits his long-term future could lie in the Premier League. Pic: Ron MacNeill
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EDINBURGH MONARCHS captain Craig Cook has expressed doubts over a permanent move into the Elite League, claiming he hasn’t got the necessary experience.

Despite his undisputed dominance in the Premier League with the Capital speedway side, the talented Cumbrian says he would only consider a step up to the top flight if he was guaranteed additional fixtures overseas.

Cook said: “I have not been riding long enough and I’m not experienced on my bike. I have only been riding speedway for six years and that’s not a long time when you only get five minutes of bike time per meeting. If you count how long I have actually ridden a bike it wouldn’t add up to a great deal.”

Cook continued: “I need to keep riding as much as I can and maybe next year I will still double up (Cook currently rides for Belle Vue Aces in the Elite League). Next season is my last year of doubling-up and I still need as much track time as possible to keep progressing.

“If I went full-time with the Elite League and started the way I did at the beginning of this year, I probably wouldn’t have a spot in either league right now. The Premier League keeps me going and keeps me learning. People say the Premier League is easy. It’s not, it’s extremely hard, and the quality of the gating is not far off Elite League standard.”

Under the current rules, Cook won’t be able to double-up beyond 2016 and he admits the prospect of more racing could tempt to him shun the Elite League altogether in favour of second-tier speedway which would allow him the opportunity of increasing his racing schedule.

“If I had to choose between one league – and I know this might sound stupid – I’d choose the Premier League. I want to progress and the only way I can do that is to race more regularly.”