April 13, 2024
Speedway Hub - British Speedway News

Paco Castagna will captain the Edinburgh Monarchs in 2024!

Paco Castagna will captain the Edinburgh Monarchs in 2024!

Edinburgh Stellar Monarchs are pleased to announce that the man leading the team as captain in 2024 will be flamboyant Italian Paco Castagna!

Now entering his third year with the Monarchs, Castagna is delighted to take on the armband saying, “It came by surprise if I am honest, I didn’t expect it but I am truly honoured to have been asked and I will give it my all.

“The captain is someone that you look up to in the team and you look out for what they say so I will give it my all to do the job the best I can. I already view my job as part of the team to be talking to the other riders and making sure they are all ok and things like that anyway so that won’t change.

“It is an honour but also a job as well. If something needs said, you need to be the one to say it and I feel I can do that especially with the team we have. It is a team, it is a group of seven riders and their mechanics that all work together as one and that is what I want to maintain.”

If you look at Castagna’s past performances it is often when the chips are down that he brings out the best of himself and the Stellar Monarchs management are hoping that this level of responsibility can allow Paco to kick on even more so, this being something the now 30 year-old is aware of, “I think that was part of John and Alex’s thinking.

“If you look at it, when the responsibility is on me that is when I step up. Meetings like the Speedway of Nations when Nico Covatti crashed out and I led with the flag on my chest or the home meeting against Glasgow the other year where Sam Masters got injured and I had to take lots of rides. In these instances, I step up so there is no reason I can’t do it every meeting.

“Being captain means you have to perform as you can’t be telling other guys what to do if you have scored zero so I will make sure I am super prepared to back up anything I am saying on track also.

“It does not always need to be the big points scorers that make the good captains. Look at Sheffield last year with Kyle Howarth for example, the make-up of the team doesn’t change and the heat leaders are still the guys that score the points and the back-up comes from the rest so that doesn’t change at all and if anything having me as captain allows the guys like Picko and Justin to just concentrate on winning their races.

“I have always said to ride for Edinburgh is an honour so now to be asked to be captain gives me a lot of pride and I am sure the team will accept that, and we will have a great season.”

With the incoming appointment of Paco it means that last year’s captain Josh Pickering takes a step back from the role. This is something that co-promoter John Campbell was keen to stress had nothing to do with the Monarchs number one’s performance on or off track last year but in the hope this allows Josh to be the top man in the league which everyone be lieves he can be while also pushing Castagna on to new heights.

Co-Promoter John Campbell said, “We all know what Paco is about and one thing that he is at all times is upbeat and positive. He also has a load of international experience and I’ve said to him that now he has reached 30 years of age now is the time to push on and make the final leap to British stardom. I think he’ll take the captaincy in his stride and I’m hoping he’ll have it in mind that every race is vital and prove that he will be a true team captain and lead from the front.”

Added fellow Co-Promoter Alex Harkess, “When I was discussing the team captaincy with John we kept coming back to the same name, Paco. He’s become a bit of a cult figure since joining us. The biggest victory wheelies, the biggest moustache, and the biggest smile. I’m confident he’ll be a great leader for the team.”

The first chance to hear from Captain Castagna is now less than two weeks away with the Season Launch Show taking place at Edinburgh Napier University’s Craiglockhart campus on Friday 29th March, doors open 6:45pm with the show starting at 7:30pm. Tickets available on the official Monarchs website.

The 2024 season gets underway on Friday 5th April at Armadale Stadium as the Stellar Monarchs take on Glasgow Tigers in a tasty opening night tussle from 7:30pm.

Words and Feature Image by Edinburgh Speedway – Action Images courtesy of Jamie Kenny 

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