ZAGAR'S BRITISH BLOW
Matej Zagar admits he hasn’t closed the door on a British comeback, but says a hefty 9.00 assessed average put pay to his hopes of a return.
15 / 03 / 2018, 11:20
Slovenian star Matej Zagar admits he hasn’t closed the door on a British comeback, but says a hefty 9.00 assessed average put pay to his hopes of a return for this season.
The Ljubljana-born man has been a regular in the UK for much of his career and last raced for the Belle Vue Aces from 2013 to 2016.
He’s back on British shale next week when he lines up in Poole’s 70th Anniversary celebration on March 23, before competing in Belle Vue’s 90th Anniversary meeting the following night.
I got offers straight away and I was interested in going back. But then they changed the rule again regarding GP riders. That made life a bit tougher for the clubs to get me in.
Zagar hinted via Twitter that he could be tempted by a UK comeback following the SGB Premiership’s switch to set race nights and says he received a flurry of offers. But having sat out the 2017 season, his average would have been re-assessed to 9.00 as an SGP star, and that left him frozen out.
He said: “I got offers straight away and I was interested in going back. But then they changed the rule again regarding GP riders. That made life a bit tougher for the clubs to get me in.
“I can’t say whether this is good or bad. There are people who make the rules and we are the riders. Of course our voices and thoughts mean more and more because the way British speedway is going is not the way it should be going.
“The riders want to ride in Britain – the GP and top-level guys. So I think it’s wrong to stop them with the rules.
"But everyone has their own mindset and plan, and we’ll see where it goes.”
Zagar has raced for Reading, Swindon, Eastbourne and Belle Vue in Britain’s top flight and the British leagues have played a key part in his career. Slovenia's greatest speedway star would never rule out a return.
He said: “From my side, I’m not shutting the door on Britain. That was my first country where I raced professional speedway, so I have sentiments for Britain. I have always enjoyed it there and I still do.”
While Zagar would look at a future return to the Premiership, he admits he would be reluctant to take a mid-season call-up, having already planned his campaign with Polish club Czestochowa and the SGP series. He said: “I’m not the sort of rider who would like to jump in and jump out. I like to have it all planned before the season what I’m going to do and with who.”