Derek Sneddon
Derek Sneddon
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Bo’ness man Derek Sneddon is now Scotland’s only professional speedway rider left – but he’s no less ambitious because of it.

The Monarchs are currently top of the Premier league with an unbeaten record and leading by 13 points.

The team travel to Sheffield this week and, on current form, expect to win the match.

Derek said: “It would take an absolute disaster for us to lose this match but we are not complacent.

‘‘Having 17 wins and one draw already, the difficulty can be making sure we keep our feet on the ground and approach each match with a positive will to win.”

The Monarchs are also through to the semi-finals of the League Cup and the Knock-out Cup and performances have been good throughout.

It augers well for their ambition to win the treble and Derek feels they are on course to success.

Professionals have been thin on the ground in Scotland and this is possibly due in a large part to the lack of training facilities.

The Linlithgow speedway stadium was closed and is missed greatly.

Derek said: “It used to be possible to train in Linlithgow five days a week. But now that facility has gone, there isn’t anywhere for young bikers to learn. They have to go south of the border and that is not practical.”

The lack of training facilities also affects professionals are they try to keep up to par with their sport, but match fitness plays its part.

Derek explained: “You cannot get any better training than riding in competitions. During the season we average two matches each week.

“Tracks which are used for matches cannot be utilised for training. Bikes are noisy and licences for tracks are restricted to match needs.”

However, a motorcross bike helps keep Derek focussed in winter but this depends on weather conditions. Good diet and keeping fit keeps him on track.