Craig Cook quits Edinburgh Monarchs for Europe

Craig Cook has been pivotal in Edinburgh Monarchs' recent successes. Pic: Ron MacNeill
Craig Cook has been pivotal in Edinburgh Monarchs' recent successes. Pic: Ron MacNeill
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Edinburgh Monarchs skipper Craig Cook has quit the Capital speedway club to race in Europe next season in a bid to further his motorsport career.

Cook, who led Monarchs to their second Premier League championship in a row last month said: “It is important that I gain additional experience on the European tracks. I had a great meeting in Poland in the Mayor’s Cup recently finishing second overall and currently I’m considering offers from clubs overseas.”

In order to fulfil his ambitions, Cook has been forced to drop one of his UK clubs. He doubled-up for Belle Vue Aces in the Elite League last season and said: “This has been a very difficult decision for me as captain of the Monarchs but, if I want to ride internationally in top-flight speedway, this is something I need to do to try and secure a place in the Grand Prix series in 2017 via the qualifiers.

“I want to thank Monarchs and all the fans for their support in what has been a very enjoyable five years for me at Armadale. I want to wish the club all the very best for 2016 and beyond. I owe a lot to the Monarchs and I wouldn’t be the rider I am today without all the help and support from everybody involved with Monarchs.”

Monarchs director Mike Hunter said: “We have reached a watershed moment in the club’s history after an unforgettable five years led by an amazing rider and person who has driven himself and the team onwards with a unique mixture of ability, bravery and professionalism.”

Monarchs signed the Cumbrian ace from Workington Comets in 2011 and, despite what was considered an up-and-down debut season with Monarchs, it has been pretty much success all the way for the Premier League’s top scorer.

Cook was named as the Monarchs Speedway Supporters’ Club Rider of the Year for 2015 and is due to attend Monarchs’ end-of-season dinner dance at the Edinburgh Capital Hotel this weekend.