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Poole Pirates: Matt Ford insists Kyle Howarth forms part of Poole plans
MATT Ford last night revealed that axed Kyle Howarth had already been pencilled in for a dramatic 2014 Pirates return – just months after being ruthlessly jettisoned.
The popular young Poole asset was controversially dropped in May – to the anger of some sections of the Wimborne Road faithful – following the club’s dire start to the season.
Howarth, widely regarded as one of British speedway’s most exciting prospects, had made a promising opening to the 2013 campaign by racking up 30 paid 33 points from Pirates’ first five meetings of the year.
But after a dip in form saw him manage just 14 paid 17 from his next five outings, the 19-year-old was reluctantly sidelined by promoter Ford.
Howarth has responded in fine style since linking up with Elite League rivals Swindon, scorching to 76 paid 89 points in 12 appearances.
Pirates chief Ford believes Howarth’s Poole pain did him “the world of good” and the youngster’s recent performances appear to have booked him a place in his parent club’s 2014 plans in a sensational turnaround.
Ford told the Daily Echo: “Kyle is an important member of the Pirates asset list.
“Strangely, dropping him has probably been the biggest kick up the backside that he has had in his career so far.
“He was clearly upset about it but he has gone on to produce very good results since.
“But in the four meetings prior to that, Kyle had only scored 10 points. It probably gave him a real kick and probably made him take everything a lot more seriously. Whether or not he would accept that is a different matter, but my feelings are that it did him the world of good.
“Kyle is a good young British lad. We are watching everything he does and make no bones about it, I will want him back in the team next year. In particular, I will want him back because of the way he has responded to taking a small setback in his career.”
After falling victim of one of Pirates’ many 2013 re-declarations, Howarth made no secret of his desire to return to Wimborne Road at some stage.
Emerging talent Howarth said at the time: “Whatever has happened has happened and hopefully, one day, I will be back there.”
In another twist to the Howarth saga, the youngster could still have a major influence on Pirates’ fortunes this year – both in their favour and against them.
Howarth is set to line up for the Robins against Lakeside tomorrow night and he could play a key role in sealing Pirates’ play-off place, with the Hammers needing a maximum haul to leapfrog Poole.
Should Pirates qualify for the silverware shoot-out, they would then be likely to lock horns with Howarth’s Swindon in a potentially mouth-watering semi-final showdown between the arch rivals.
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