Belle Vue have made their first signing ahead of the 2013 speedway campaign, snapping up rising star Craig Cook.
The rider has decided to stay with the Aces after being given his first chance in the Elite League by them back in 2011.
The 25-year-old Cumbrian will continue to ride on-loan from his parent club Edinburgh, from the Premier League, and is relishing the challenge.
“It is a privilege that Belle Vue came in for me and that I am the first rider they have signed,” said Cook.
“I have had quite a lot of Elite League clubs on to me but I have shown my loyalty to the Aces.
“It was Belle Vue who came for me in 2011 and it was them who came for me again this year.
“They have showed loyalty to me and that’s why I said I will go back again.”
Cook was a consistent performer when involved with the Aces and despite being in Speedway for only four years, he feels he can improve even further.
“I know what I want to achieve next year but I’m not setting myself any goals in terms of averages,” he explained.
“I’ve ridden at the track over the last two years and I’d like to think that in the seasons to come I’ll still be with the club.
“I want to progress and I’d love to be the Belle Vue number one one day at their new stadium.”
The rising star agreed to sign on for next season after a meeting with Aces’ Operations Director Chris Morton and team manager Jason Attwood at Lancaster services on the M6.
Promoter Morton was delighted with the move, and thankful that Edinburgh are allowing their rider to compete in the Elite League again.
Team boss Attwood described the signing as a great start for next season, and admitted he had struggled for sleep on the prospect of missing out on Cook.
“It was a priority to get Craig back at Belle Vue, especially as British talent is few and far between,” he said.
“I’m not just happy that he’s back on board but I’m relieved as well.
“I know how good he is and how good he can become – and so did other clubs.”
Attwood said he has a good relationship with the Cumbrian rider after overseeing several ten-point plus hauls in last season’s Elite League, notably against Lakeside and Birmingham.
He expects Cook to have a bright future in the sport and with his current average, the signing is a significant boost ahead of the next campaign.
“I think the sky’s the limit for what he can achieve but that’s for the future – I think he’s a steal on an average of 5.52,” he said.
Picture credit: Sheffield Speedway