PIRATES legend Alun Rossiter has been backed by predecessor Neil Middleditch to make the most of his appointment as Great Britain boss.

Rossiter, a crowd favourite who scored 1,660 points across 13 years at Wimborne Road, was announced as the Poole manager’s replacement in the national hotseat on Wednesday.

Middleditch, who has previously spoke out about the dearth of rising talent in British speedway, ended his second stint in the top job in November after the Brits finished last in the World Cup.

And while he admitted his old friend faced a tough task at the helm, the successful Pirates boss felt Rossiter’s selection was the right decision.

Middleditch told the Daily Echo: “Rosco is a lot like me. He has a passion for the sport and if anyone can get the best out of our young riders, it is him. There is no one better to inject that bit of enthusiasm into it.

“It is a tough old job, as I found out, but I am sure he is under no illusions about that and I wish him all the best.

“The youth structures are now being put in place but while that happens, we will be quite a way from being the force we once were years ago.”

  • Pirates have announced an official link-up with Scunthorpe in a new initiative aimed at helping future British talent.

Scunthorpe run teams at Premier and National League level and Pirates, the reigning Elite League champions, are keen to benefit from joining forces.

Poole promoter Matt Ford told the club's official website: “The set-up at Scunthorpe is a credit to them all. It is a fantastic purpose-built track and offers riders different lines to race and improve. I was concerned that Scunthorpe were not going to track a National League side and felt joining forces was a natural thing to do.

“I have made it clear that I am not going to interfere with the running of the Stags in the National League. The idea that talent can hopefully come through and have a natural development from the third tier into the second tier at Premier League level with the Scorpions is perfect, in my opinion.

“With the Elite League now pushing for home-grown kids at reserve, our need to work on the future is a priority. I believe linking with a passionate club like Scunthorpe is a big step in helping this progression.”