BERWICK have completed the signing of Swedish sensation Sebastian Alden on a full transfer from Swindon.
Alden, who has spent the last two months on loan, made the deal permanant when he signed a transfer agreement last Thursday.
This followed a string of impressive performances in Bandits’ colours, the latest of which had been on the club’s recent tour when they recorded one of their biggest away wins in their 43 year history at Plymouth.
In making the announcement to fans during the home meeting against Ipswich on Saturday, centre green presenter Dick Barrie said: “He didn’t come cheap, but we think he will be worth it.”
The news was met with rapturous applause from Berwick supporters who have been appreciative of Alden’s efforts ever since he joined the club as a direct replacement for the outgoing Charlie Gjedde.
Promoter John Anderson said: “We want to show everyone our commitment to the club and one of the best ways of doing that is to build up our asset base. Where better than to start than at the top. Seb has been brilliant ever since he joined us and as we continue to build for the future we plan to make a number of other major announcements during the remainder of this season.”
On his permanent move to Shielfield Alden said: “I am very happy to be joining Berwick on a full contract because I really like riding here.
“The track and the people are very good and the management have made me feel very welcome. It has also helped having a few of the other Swedish lads around (Alex Edberg and Ludvig Lingren) and I am looking forward to riding for the club in the future.”
Alden says he has a guarantee from the club to be part of the team in 2012. “This is the earliest I have ever agreed a team place,” he said, “but it is good because I now know what I am doing and where I will be.”
He also admitted that despite leaving Swindon he had not given up his ambition of riding in the Elite League. “I would still like to ride in the Elite League next season if I can double up,” he said. “We will just have to wait and see what the rules are.”
Meanwhile, Berwick have reacted angrilly to comments made by Charlie Gjedde in an interview which was carried in last week’s ‘Speedway Star’ magazine.
Gjedde was hailed as one of Berwick’s biggest-ever signings during the winter, but he left three months into the season after a string of poor performances.
In the interview Gjedde said he wasn’t happy at Shielfield Park and he didn’t like the track with its wooden fence and block-built retaining wall.
An irked Andersion said: “I couldn’t believe it when I read the article. Up until now we have remained silent, but when I saw that I had to say something.
“We made Charlie feel very welcome at Berwick. We took him out for meals and the team manager (Ian Rae) also opened his home to him. We did everything we could to help him during his spell with us, but the simple truth was he just didn’t perform on the track. I don’t think he made himself the most popular guy around the pits either.
“It would be safe to say we didn’t part on the best of terms because there were one or two things going on behind the scenes. The fans were becoming increasingly concerned at the situation, and I even had other promoters asking me what was going on.
“I know Charlie was coming back from injury, and we always said it was a gamble, but looking back in hindsight I think he just used us.
“He needed a club and we needed a rider. If it had worked out, fine, but it didn’t, and at the end of the day I think most people connected with the club were happy to see him leave. He said he didn’t have the Newport deal lined up before he left us, but I think everyone knows that wasn’t true.
“It’s history now and we have to move on, that’s why we are looking to the future and adding to our own asset base with the permanent signing of Sebastian Alden.”