Speedway: Rebels recruit Australian prospect Cook
PUBLISHED: 10:58 08 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:58 08 December 2019
Somerset Rebels have confirmed the signing of exciting young Australian prospect Zach Cook to complete their septet.
Club owner and promoter Debbie Hancock announced: "The move to bring Zach to the club is all now down to the successful issuance of his visa, the applications for which are now in the system.
"We were so impressed with him when he rode in our challenge fixture against Plymouth last season and the times when he visited the Oaktree for some practice.
"He is a good lad and I believe the Somerset fans will take to him very quickly. Gazza (Garry May) speaks very highly of him too and I must say that once again Gazza has done a great job in assembling a very exciting side that is well capable of being a title winning one too."
Cook will come into the side on an assessed 4.00 average which means he will occupy a reserve berth along with two-pointer Nathan Stoneman.
Minutes after being confirmed as Somerset's seventh signing, teenager Cook claimed victory in heat two of the New South Wales Championship in Kurri Kurri, New South Wales, and went on to finish fourth in the meeting.
Reports filtered through from Somerset's programme contributor Dick Barrie, confirming that it was only when he met the two Holder brothers, Jack and Chris, in heat 12 that Cook dropped his first points, finishing third to the more experienced racing dynasty.
Cook, who had ex-Rebel Todd Kurtz on the spanners, followed that up with another race win, his third of the night, in heat 14 before completing his heats with a second place.
Having garnered sufficient points to make the semi-final he saw off the threat of Jye Etheridge, Kye Thompson and Zaine Kennedy to book his place in the grand final, up against the Holders and Josh Pickering.
The meeting was eventually won by former Rebel Jack Holder, with his brother Chris second and Pickering third, but Barrie reported: "Zach gave a great account of himself. I picked up the news of his signing just as the meeting was about to start and so watched him extra attentively.
"It seems clear to me that the Rebels management know what they are doing and I believe that they will have a good solid asset in Zach."
The Rebels have squeezed as many points out of the 41 point limit, coming in with a start-of-season team total of 40.96.
Their team includes Bradley Wilson-Dean 8.75, Rory Schlein 8.69, Ben Barker 7.06, Josh Bates 6.19, Anders Rowe 4.27, Zach Cook 4.00 and Nathan Stoneman 2.00
Prospective season ticket purchasers are reminded that the club are holding an Open Afternoon on Wednesday December 11 (1pm-6pm) where they can be issued with their season ticket and enjoy a mince pie and cup of coffee if they drop in at the Oaktree Arena.