Matt Williamson has revealed how relieved he was at securing a dream move to Edinburgh Monarchs because he feared was going to be without a Championship club in 2018 after being freed by Workington.
Williamson was unveiled as Monarchs’ sixth signing for next season just before Christmas after a nervous wait for the call – and the 25 year-old couldn’t be more happier.
“It is the most excited I have been pre-season in a long time. Edinburgh have always been a club I’ve wanted to be part of, they have a winning pedigree and I want to be part of that, I feel so excited. The fans and the promoters are very good.
“The Armadale track is a slightly trickier track but riding that every week is only going to improve me, so there are a lot of positives about it and I’m buzzing about the move.”
Williamson, like Craig Cook, possibly Monarchs’ greatest-ever skipper, comes from a moto-cross background.
“I’m naturally very good on big, wide open tracks which is why I always do well away from home.
“I can adapt though. I was at Buxton in the National League last season and that was a very small track but I still did very well for them.
“Once I start with Edinburgh and master their track I can get that sort of race track into my arsenal and it will help me become a more complete rider.”
Williamson joins a new-look Edinburgh side on an average of just under five and will occupy one of the two reserve berths. However, Monarchs are far more optimistic and confident about Williamson’s ability to bring about an improvement this season given the paucity of points from Max Clegg and Mitchell Davey at varying times in these roles in 2017.
Williamson added: “The reserves can help get the team off to a good start, and if one of the riders in the main body of the team is struggling one night and the reserves are in good form you can swap them around. A good reserve can win a team a lot of matches and that can be crucial over the course of a season.”
Williamson had two good seasons at Workington and is not at all despondent that he was frozen out of their plans for this year, in fact he is quite philosophical about how things have worked out.
“I had two brilliant years with Workington and it’s been great. I started off down at reserve with them last season but progressed into the main body of the side. I felt things had gone really well and I was expecting Workington to come in for me again but they kind of hinted that the way they were building their team for this year I wasn’t going to fit in.
“I received some wise words from Craig (Cook). He told me it was time to move on and a place like Edinburgh was ideal for me to learn that extra bit of track craft.
“Craig had only positive things to say about Edinburgh and told me to go up there because it would do me the world of good, so when Edinburgh approached me I was so excited about the prospect.”
Williamson rode for Workington against Monarchs at the start of last season at Armadale and demonstrated he may not need as much time as he thinks to make his mark.
He explained: “I scored nine points.
“The track up at Armadale is always well prepared, it’s a brilliant little track. It’s a bit like Newcastle’s track, once you get dialled in. You have good home track advantage and I can’t wait to get dialled in at Armadale.”
And Edinburgh have certainly secured a rider full of ambition as he hopes to see further progress in terms of his speedway career this year.
“At Workington even though I was in the main body of the team I was beating some established riders. I’m still relatively new to speedway but every year I rode I was voted the “most improved rider of the year”.
“Every season I do my aim is always to improve as much as I can and that will be goal with Edinburgh.
“John Campbell (Monarchs co-promoter) told me the way Edinburgh have structured their team he wants me to stay at reserve.
“Obviously I would like to progress again. But as long as I ride to my average, even if it means the whole team is doing well, I don’t mind staying at reserve for the whole season.
“If it benefits the team I’ll be happy.
“Joining Edinburgh is definitely a good career move and they are looking to develop me as a rider. I hope it’s the start of a long friendship between myself and Edinburgh.”