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Cook, Roynon, Shuttleworth & Proctor complete the 2017 Comets!
Photo by Dave Payne
Thu 01 Dec 2016 by Comets Press Office
West Cumbrian-born Craig Cook has been named as the Comets number one and captain for 2017 in front of a packed audience at Derwent Park this evening!

Entering the room disguised as Santa, the unveiling of Cook gave all Comets fans the early Christmas present they had only dreamt about as he received a hero's welcome from the fans that saw him make his Premier League debut back in 2009.

Since then, having been transferred to Edinburgh by the previous Comets promotion at the end of 2010, the 29 year-old Cook has gone on to be one of Britain's top performers; going on to compete as a wild card in the Cardiff Grand Prix and being a member of the Team GB side that clinched the Silver Medal in last season's Speedway World Cup Final. In addition he was crowned Premier League Riders' Champion in 2012 as well as being a regular podium finisher in the British Championship in recent years.

After leaving the Comets at the end of 2010 he spent five years with Edinburgh where he was instrumental in the Monarchs clinching the league title in 2014 and 2015. Last season Cook concentrated on racing for Belle Vue in the Elite League, where he has also raced since 2011, but a lack of meetings saw him also join Premier League Peterborough in mid-season, with whom he ended the season on a 9.83 average.

Comets owner Laura Morgan said: “To have Craig leading us from the number one position next season is fantastic, and everyone has welcomed him back with open arms.

“I know that a lot of supporters wanted to see him back but probably didn't think it would happen, but it has and it has given everyone connected with the club a huge lift.”

Meanwhile Cook, who comes into the side on a 9.83 average, said: “I can't believe the reception tonight, it's been fantastic. I am delighted to be back at my local club where it all started for me and hopefully we can go on to win some trophies.

“Everyone in the side is capable of improving their average, even me, there is still plenty more to come from me, and if we can win a trophy or two for these people that will be really special.”

Also announced tonight, and so joining Cook to complete the Comets 2017 side, were Adam Roynon, Ty Proctor and Rob Shuttleworth.

The Barrow-born 2016 Comet Adam Roynon is returning to the club for a second successive season, and with fellow Barrow-born rider, Shuttleworth, in the side that makes three Cumbrian-born riders in the team.

For 23 year-old Shuttleworth it will be his debut campaign at this level, having ridden for Belle Vue in the National League last season, and he comes into the side on a 2.00 average.

The announcement of Adam Roynon, who starts the campaign on a 5.12 average, also drew a great reception from the packed room, especially as he had travelled up the M6 especially to attend the evening and he described himself as being: “Mega-happy to be back!”

Meanwhile, 29 year-old Aussie Ty Proctor, who signed for the club last season but was unable to take his place in the starting line-up due to visa issues is desperately keen to get back into action in the UK. He sent a message to the supporters to say that he was training hard and couldn't wait to get over to the UK where he will begin the season on a 6.68 average.

Speaking about the remaining team members announced this evening Morgan said: “We are very happy with the side that we have put together and everyone is capable of improving their average.

“Adam will benefit from having had an injury-free 2016 and being able to start the new season where he left off. Ty Proctor is very keen to make up for lost time and young Rob Shuttleworth will get plenty of help and advice from the more experienced team members. Craig knows Rob very well and he will certainly help him out as much as he can, as he will do for the rest of the team.”

The popular Thomas Jorgensen also made the trip up to see the supporters and he received a great reception from his new fans on what proved to be a very positive evening for the club.

With Cook, Roynon, Shuttleworth and Proctor joining the already announced Jorgensen, Mason Campton and Matt Williamson, the Comets side is now complete for 2017.
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Last Updated :  Thu 01 Dec 2016, 23:17 UK - official club website.
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Dave Payne, Adrian Randall