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Pirates: Ward wants Poole to win it for Holder
Ward replaced Holder as captain after the world champion’s season came to a premature end following a horror smash at Coventry last month.
Holder, who injured his hip, heel and shoulder in the spill, was back in the pits to lend his support to Pirates during their thumping win over Eastbourne nine days ago.
In his absence, Ward has helped Poole maintain their revival, the 21-year-old leading them to four successive home wins, leaving them breathing down the neck of the leaders.
Their credentials will face a stern test when they host in-form Peterborough tonight, Panthers arriving at Wimborne Road on the back of picking up points in each of their past five matches.
Pirates currently trail fourth-placed Lakeside by three points, although a win by more than six against Peterborough would put them level with the Hammers.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Echo, Ward said: “We would rather have Chris riding with us but, unfortunately, he isn’t. It was great to see him supporting us in the pits against Eastbourne and him showing his face means a lot to everyone. It would be great to win it for him.
“To get a title in my first year as captain is what we are going to be pushing for and we have certainly got a team capable of doing it. Even if we don’t win it, I think we are all going to really enjoy the rest of the season and the crowd and atmosphere against Eastbourne were brilliant.”
Ward, who saw two-time world champion Greg Hancock drafted in as a replacement for Holder, added: “You could never replace Chris but we needed someone to step in and do a job like he does. We could not have picked anyone better.
“Our track is not easy but give him a couple of meetings and he will be quick around here. I think he will enjoy being on the team as much as we will enjoy having him. I think he will like to ride with us young guys and we can all have a ball!”
Asked whether the captaincy had helped him mature, Ward replied: “I think I have come to the stage in life when it happens so maybe it is happening.
“I am certainly a bit happier as captain and I talk to the boys a lot more than I used to. The team spirit in the pits is awesome right now, the best I have ever known it.
“We want to push for the play-offs and have a really exciting end to the season.”
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