Edinburgh Monarchs co-promoter John Campbell today said “things are developing nicely” within his new-look squad in the wake of their stunning 46-43 League Cup victory over Glasgow Tigers.
That surprise win flew in the face of those who had predicted the capital speedway outfit would be mere cannon fodder for a Tigers team who hadn’t lost a match until their visit to Armadale last Friday.
Campbell admitted he always had faith that Monarchs would upset the odds. He said: “Although the Glasgow team is good, they don’t have anyone with a real Armadale pedigree apart from Aaron Summers who didn’t do so well for them.
“So I knew it would be a close meeting and that we would come out on top. That’s because our top four do well at home and when that happens each week everything should be okay.”
One of the most pleasing aspects of Monarchs’ win was the performance of new Aussie Jye Etheridge, who displayed signs that he is ready to live up to his five-point starting average.
Campbell said: “He was far more competitive than before. It has been really difficult for him so far because he hasn’t had a run of matches because of the bad weather, so he can spend a lot of time sitting around thinking, ‘what am I going to do in my next match’ rather than be out there thinking ‘I did that wrong this week but can change that for next week’. It hasn’t happened for him in that manner yet.”
Monarchs have also sent out a strong signal to their rivals that they are not as weak this term as has been perceived and remain a force to be reckoned with at the Lothian Arena.
“I think we will always be fairly strong at home because we’ll have those strong good guys at the top end of the team,” said Campbell. “It will take a very good team to dominate them.
“That’s the only way anyone is going to come and beat us. I think the bottom end of the team will get better and better.”
While Friday’s clash may have been deemed academic, the Tigers having already booked their spot in the semi finals, Campbell stated: “Every derby match – whether there is an end outcome, or if there is a qualification berth or league points at stake, if there is nothing in that manner available – is still the most important match of the year for both teams. I think the Tigers will have gone away disappointed they did not win.”
Monarchs supporters can now look forward with greater confidence as they bid to win the championship for a third time in succession.
Campbell added: “There would have been a belief that the Tigers would be too good for us, so to prove that wasn’t the case was good for the team and our fans. I think it is all developing nicely.”