Max Clegg wants more despite fine Monarchs start

Max Clegg has performed consistently well for Monarchs this season. Pic: Ron MacNeill
Max Clegg has performed consistently well for Monarchs this season. Pic: Ron MacNeill
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Three appears to be Max Clegg’s magic number. The 18-year-old Englishman has scored three points in each his four matches since joining Edinburgh Monarchs this season and while he points out this is consistent with his starting average, he would like to eventually increase this ratio.

However, he is happy to take things steady for now as he beds himself in at reserve in a Monarchs squad who are already showing signs of a camaraderie and team spirit, which was such a vital component of their triple silverware haul in 2014.

Monarchs entertain Berwick Bandits in the League Cup at Armadale tonight and are seeking a swift double over the Border outfit following their 50-40 success at Shielfield Park six days ago, taking them into second spot in their qualifying group behind leaders Glasgow Tigers, who they tackle in a key clash at Ashfield on Sunday afternoon.

Clegg, who made the semi final of the British Under-21 Final at Coventry on Tuesday, only to be excluded after clipping Stefan Nielsen’s back wheel, says Monarchs were fully focused at a Berwick that hasn’t always been a rewarding venue in the past.

“We all thought we could win there,” he said. ”We went down with our heads very firmly in the game. We felt strong and it was a very good team effort.

“We pulled clear over the second half, but riding Berwick compared to Armadale is like night and day. There was just the one racing line, but Cookie [Craig Cook] had the right set-up from the start. It took a few of us a little longer to get things sorted.

“Personally I was very happy with how I rode the place, I’d only been there once before and didn’t do too well. I was in the National League, but to score three points in the Premier League with Edinburgh was pretty pleasing.”

The unassuming Clegg was like a rabbit caught in headlights when he was unveiled to Monarchs over the winter and he fretted a little about how he would fare at Premier League level, but he said: “This division is 
always hard because it is so competitive, but I’m happy with how I’ve started the season off. I have scored three points in all my meetings so far, which is level with my starting average.

“But as long as I can keep getting that, and perhaps a bit more, that will be a bonus. I wasn’t expecting to score three points per meeting this early on. So, naturally, I have been satisfied with the start I have made for Edinburgh and hope to keep it going.

“I do want to increase my average – everybody does – and if I can gate a bit better I should pick up a few more points to help my cause.”

Monarchs got their home League Cup campaign of to a promising start with a resounding 56-37 victory over Workington Comets.

“We beat them quite comfortably in the end, which was a bit of a surprise to be honest,” said Clegg. “We seemed to carry on from where we left off last season, but their No 1 Kenneth Hansen was a disappointment and it always helps when your opponents’ have a bad night.”

It seems a reasonable assumption that Clegg could snap his run of three point returns this evening as the Bandits invariably find Armadale a challenging venue. “There is a fair chance I can do it,” said Clegg, “and overall the whole team is looking to win by a comfortable margin. I think everything is coming together for us already.

Monarchs’ visit to Glasgow on Sunday will go along way in determining if Monarchs qualify for the cup semi finals, Clegg just hopes conditions are a lot drier than the rain soaked surface they faced in the Spring Trophy last month

“It was pretty wet and the weather ruined the meeting,” said Clegg. “I didn’t mind it too much but if you were behind anybody you couldn’t see. However Glasgow have a strong team this year and also have two decent reserves but hopefully myself and Rob (Branford) will get stuck in. I think we can definitely come away with a win.”