Edinburgh Monarchs’ new signing Ricky Wells says his arrival at Armadale is long overdue and should have happened before now.
The American World Cup ace has joined Monarchs after spending the past season with Workington Comets and he fully intends to help spearhead Monarchs’ pursuit of the league championship crown they surrendered to Somerset Rebels in October.
Wells said: “Riding for Edinburgh is definitely overdue for me. I said to Monarchs promoter John Campbell it should have happened two or three years ago and now that it has I’m delighted with the move.
“I had a good time with Workington, no complaints there, and it’s a shame to have left them. It was just a pity our away form wasn’t better otherwise we might have reached the play-offs.
“But once I sorted out a deal with Edinburgh I was very excited and now I’m already looking forward to next season.
“I want to do my best for Monarchs now that they have handed me this opportunity and I’m confident I’ll score the points they expect from me.”
Wells had become a guest rider of choice for many clubs in 2016 and his frequent jaunts to the Lothian Arena in Armadale to oppose Monarchs gave him a useful insight into the difficulties of a track that some have struggled to master, prompting him to be dubbed an unofficial specialist.
“Everybody seems to think that is the case,” he said. “It’s now up to me to make sure it happens so I’m under pressure to perform already!
“Armadale has always been a place I enjoy riding and I have never had too many issues with it. I know others don’t like Armadale and have said as much.
“However, I love it and always have a good bike set-up every time I visit and the track is always well prepared and allows you to pass.”
Having filled the No.1 berth for Workington, Wells conceded he will have to give ground to Sam Masters although he has yet to sign on for a fourth spell in the blue and gold.
“Providing Sam is back I’ll have to get used to coming out in heat four to going out in heat one to begin with. I know one thing, I think Sam and myself will be quite strong at home especially in the critical heats 13and 15.
“Sam has always been hard to beat at home and I’m sure we will come on strong as the meeting goes on.”
As with most American performers, Wells considers preparation a key element to getting the best out of speedway and revealed: “I have got one new bike and I only used one bike this season.
“Everything will be fresh and I had an engine sent out to me in Australia where I am right now in order that I can do some more practising.
“I have always been on good equipment. You need to be because the top riders in our sport are not going out every week and scoring good points on bad machinery.
“I’m planning to come over in mid-February but since I have got quite a bit done already I can enjoy the sunshine until then.”
In line with some other riders Wells is keen to double-up in the rebranded Premiership division in 2017 to help hone his skills. “I didn’t double-up this past season,” he said. “And I think that kind of hindered me. I have been in touch with a few teams but nothing concrete as yet. It’s got to the stage where I’d ride for any club who don’t race on a Friday night.
“I’d ride anywhere because I like to keep busy and I’ve also got bikes in Denmark as well.”
The 25 year-old was based in Workington this year and added: “It was a good place for getting out cycling on the open roads but I’m planning to base myself near to Manchester next season. It would have been nice to have stayed in Edinburgh but it’s such a long drive to anywhere.”
Monarchs team manager Alex Harkess believes Wells will be a great asset, especially away from home, stating: “We are very glad to have Ricky on board for next season.
“He knows our circuit very well due to the number of guest bookings he made for other clubs and I’m sure he will have no problem with it.
“He has a proven ability and also the potential to score points on the road as well. We have no worries over what he’ll do for us.”
Monarchs, meanwhile, have lost out in the race to re-sign Dan Bewley, who has joined arch rivals Glasgow Tigers in a deal which was reportedly sealed a few weeks ago leaving Monarchs directors looking slightly leaden footed.