Monarchs won’t give Helfer the heave-ho after blank

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Edinburgh Monarchs bosses have no immediate plans to axe misfiring German star Marcel Helfer, who struggled and failed to score against Berwick Bandits in Friday’s League Cup speedway qualifier at Armadale.

Helfer looked at all at sea in the damp conditions, but Monarchs team manager Alex Harkess today said: “His performance wasn’t even talked about. It was no surprise that he struggled because it was wet.

“However, it’s a bit early to be speculating about his future at the club.”

Fans thought Helfer was set to bloom after he won his reserve heat two race in brilliant style at Berwick’s Shielfield Park in the first tie and Harkess added: “I don’t know where that win came from, especially as track conditions were very tricky that particular night.

“Marcel has got to get into that first and second bend in a scoring position, yet even when he does manage that, he often comes out of the bend in last place. That is not acceptable, but we are not looking at other options yet. We’ll see how it goes.”

Monarchs’ decision to bring back Helfer this season was considered a gamble worth taking. “He is a young rider and you are hoping he will 
improve,” added Harkess. 
If he turned out to be better away from home than he is round Armadale, we could live with that.

“But he has got to be consistent, it’s no good having one decent ride followed by four or five bad ones.”

Helfer commented: “Friday was not a good match for me, I struggled from the off and couldn’t get going at all.”

One bright spot for Monarchs was the five points that young Max Fricke gained and the youngster exhibited style and tenacity that suggests his first race win in Monarchs 
colours is not too far away.

Said Harkess: “He is a very determined rider and doesn’t bottle out and fights for everything. We are quite happy with him.”

Meanwhile, Craig Cook scored 12 points guesting for Workington Comets on Saturday as they crushed Ipswich Witches by more than 30 points to elbow the Suffolk team out of the Premier League KO Cup.

Meanwhile, fellow Monarch Jozsef Tabaka harvested seven of Hungary’s 13 points on Sunday as they were eliminated from the European Pairs Championship.