Edinburgh Monarchs have named Josh Pickering as their second signing for next year’s Championship season.
Pickering, regarded as one of the most entertaining home riders around Armadale, will still only be 22 when he embarks upon his third campaign with the club.
During 2018, the Australian managed to increase his average by 1.05 points taking it up to the six-point mark.
And Pickering says he is looking for further improvement in 2019. He told the Evening News: “I will be looking for more of the same and I plan to pick up from where I left off last season. I’m very happy to be back. Edinburgh is a great club and I’m just glad Monarchs wanted me back again.
“The fans are also great and very supportive, and I stay with good people, and just go out every week to enjoy myself and do my best for Monarchs.
“I know (fellow 2019 signing) Justin Sedgmen, of course, but not that well, to be honest. He has already signed on for the new season and it will be good to have another Australian in the team.”
Pickering revealed he has set his sights on a Premiership place for next season. He said: “So far, I have yet to hear from any club in that division, but it is my wish to gain a spot there as it can only help further my career.
“I was happy with my machinery last season but I have also signed up to ride in Poland in 2019 so I will be looking to build up my equipment.” Pickering added: “I worked it out that I have only done 98 meetings since in came to the UK yet some riders do that in one season!”
Edinburgh team manager Alex Harkess is delighted to have Pickering back, confessing: “It’s not a surprise – it was always going to happen. I would have been shocked if he hadn’t come back. I wasn’t concerned about him at all to be truthful.”
Harkess added that he hopes Pickering can kick on to new heights on track next season. “That’s the name of the game. Josh can and should do better.
“He just needs to be a bit more steady out on the track. Some people just pick up this speedway lark a bit quicker than others.”
However, Monarchs fans love to see Pickering chasing faster gating opponents from the back and there is no doubt he has the capabilities to mature into a key rider next season especially under the new lower points limit.