Somerset Rebels debutant Cook self-isolating in Australia

PUBLISHED: 09:15 27 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:15 27 March 2020

A sign at the entrance to the Oaktree Arena (pic Lily Newton-Browne)

A sign at the entrance to the Oaktree Arena (pic Lily Newton-Browne)


Somerset’s debutant Zach Cook is back home in Australia after spending a fortnight in the UK preparing for the new campaign.

It is unlikely there will be any speedway action before June 15, due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Cook admits to a sense of frustration.

He said: “It was all pretty much very disappointing having spent such little time over there. I had just got settled in and getting things sorted and then everything went crazy.

“It was pretty easy to get back home, to be fair, there was no big dramas, we just had to act quick before they shut the borders which would have left us stuck.

“There wasn’t a lot of flights but the ones that were still there were very expensive but it was something that just had to be done.

“This virus is starting to affect Australia pretty seriously, all non-essential shops have now had to shut down, schools are also closing. Travel bans are now in place, anyone coming back into the country now has to do a 14-day complete self-isolation period. We are not on complete lockdown at this stage but I believe it is a possibility.

“At the moment, though, I am in self-isolation at home and that isn’t much fun. Once I am through that I will continue to train here at home while we wait for the season to hopefully to take place at a later date.

“All gyms are closed here so I will be doing some push bike riding to keep on top of my fitness and make sure I’m 100 per cent ready for the season.

“I was really looking forward to getting my debut UK season underway and hopefully scoring some good points. It has been a goal of mine to race speedway professionally since I was a kid and I’m glad to have my first season with Somerset. From what I’ve seen they are a really good club and I can’t wait to be a part of the team.

“Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to have any practices, I had just finished building my bikes and getting them ready when all this drama unfolded which obviously led to clubs not being able to run anything which was pretty disappointing for me”.

Cook, who cites Darcy Ward as his inspiration, was an interested on-looker at the only race meeting to be held in the UK this year, the Ben Fund Bonanza staged at Scunthorpe in which two of his 2020 Rebels teammates, Ben Barker and Anders Rowe competed.

He added: “I enjoyed watching that and now I am just hoping that we can get some racing action in when all of this calms down. But in the meantime I wish all seedway fans a safe time.”

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