BERWICK’S latest recruit, Matthew Wethers has given his reason for wanting to join the Bandits.
“Basically Edinburgh didn’t want me,” he said, “and I was looking for another club.
“But I have had some good meetings at Berwick over the years and this was my first choice when I knew I wasn’t part of the Monarchs’ plans.”
Wethers was so determined to join the Borderers that on his initial approach to promoter John Anderson he said he wouldn’t speak to any other clubs until he got a definite ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from the Tweedsiders.
“That really impressed me,” said Anderson, “and it was his attitude that really swung it, although he has had some good meetings at Shielfield in the past and I am confident he will become a very useful and valuable member of the team.”
Aussie Wethers, nicknamed ‘Stormy,’ spent ten years with Berwick’s near neighbours Edinburgh at Armadale. He is a former Monarch’s captain and won no fewer than three league championship medals with the Scottish outfit.
“It would be nice to bring some success to Berwick,” he said. “We have assembled a good side for 2013 but we will just have to wait and see how things develop over the course of next season.”
Wethers lives in Broxburn near Edinburgh and so faces a relatively short journey to Berwick for home meetings.
“That was part of my thinking,” he said, “but Shielfield has always been a good track for me. You can ride it almost full throttle, and for an Australian like me that’s what I was brought up on.”
The 27 year-old endured a poor season by his standards in 2012. “Matty had a testimonial with Edinburgh last season,” said Berwick team manager Ian Rae, “and like a lot of riders in that situation his performances seemed to suffer.
“Perhaps he took his eye off the ball, but we know he is a rider of some quality and I am confident he will bounce back and improve on his starting average.
“He has a certain quality about him which makes me think he will fit in very well with our team.”
Wethers added: “I was plagued by machinery problems and as a result my average dropped to only 5.6, which I knew would make me an attractive proposition to a lot of clubs.
“But just like Ricky Ashworth did last season, I am hoping that a change of scenery and a fresh challenge will help my kick on again.
“Ricky had ten years at Sheffield and became an instant hit following his move to Berwick, I am hoping the same thing happens to me.”
Wethers will be joined in the Berwick team in 2013 by Ashworth, fellow Australian Kozza Smith, who is returning after a year out with a broken thigh, Scandinavians Robin Aspegren, Nicki Barret and Alex Edberg and Frenchman David Bellego.
“It is a decent looking side,” he said, “and there is no reason why we shouldn’t do well. I just want to play my part and repay Berwick for the faith they have shown in me.”