Sedgeman's sorry for manner of Devils exit
AUSSIE speedway rider Justin Sedgeman has apologised to Plymouth Devils fans for walking out on them.
Sedgeman was one of the possible 'new' recruits in line for a slot with the city team for this season.
The Australian shocked fans two seasons ago when he suddenly left the St Boniface Arena-based without any public explanation.
He had been brought in by then club promoter Mike Bowden as a replacement for one of a crop of riders struggling with injuries.
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It is now understood Sedgeman left the Plymouth club because of a dispute over pay.
But Devils' new manager, Lee Trigger, insisted he was interested in bringing the Australian back to Devon for another crack at Premier League speedway despite his dispute with Bowden.
The deal fell through, however, because it was felt that it would be a long, complicated and expensive process to get Sedgeman from Australia to the Devils for next season.
Instead, Trigger opted for experienced English rider Chris Schramm.
Trigger admitted Sedgeman had wanted to return to the Devils – and he did not completely rule out that happening in the future.
The Devils manager said: "Justin was very keen to come back. He told me he felt he owed the Devils fans something for what happened and he was sorry.
"Justin is a good rider and I would have been glad to get him, but we are a new company running the club and it was felt to be too expensive.
"It would have cost us £700 for a work permit for a start and it would have taken something like six weeks to fix up.
"I've explained everything to Justin and the reasons why we went for Chris, but I've told him that nobody knows what might happen in the future."
Schramm, who was at Sheffield last season, has not long returned from a broken back.
He had an indifferent season at Sheffield last year, the result of five blown engines.
But Trigger insisted he was happy with the team he had put together.
He said: "I am excited about next season – this year it will be my team, not one presented to me to work with, as it was last season.
"It is my team and it's all on my shoulders – it either works or it doesn't, then it's my fault."
Schramm will start the season at number two, with the highly-rated Ty Proctor at number one.
Last season's captain, Cory Cathercole, is returning, as is Todd Kurtz, arguably the club's most improved rider last season.
The remainder of the seven are made up of Australian team manager Mark Lemon, former Poole Pirate Ricky Kling and Ben Reade.