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Poole Pirates: Turbo Twins top Ford's wish-list
MATT Ford revealed Pirates’ Turbo Twins were desperate to stay at Wimborne Road and then admitted the feeling was mutual by insisting: I would pick them every time.
Both Holder and Ward, in exclusive interviews with the Daily Echo, have already expressed their desire to continue donning the skull and crossbones in 2014.
However, their Wimborne Road futures will also be largely decided by the outcome of the sport’s AGM in November – with team-building rules top of the agenda.
Sky Sports have yet to announce whether or not they intend to extend their Elite League deal which expires this year – and that decision is expected to have a major influence on the budgets of clubs next season.
But after watching Ward lead Pirates to the Elite League title after standing in as skipper for injured Holder, Pirates chief Ford confirmed that the pair would again be top of his wish-list, pending off-track developments.
He told the Daily Echo: “Chris Holder is the same as Darcy Ward – they are Poole. Those two lads don’t want to ride for anybody else.
“If I am honest, you would go with them every time, from a promoter’s point of view. They are very sensible when it comes to negotiations. They want to ride for the club so they are not mercenary.
“I know countless riders on substantially more than those guys, but they have made Poole their home and they want to live in Poole.
“I am just so proud to have talent like that riding for the club while I am the custodian of this wonderful team.
“We just all have to hope now that a TV contract is negotiated and that the majority of guys can come back.”
Holder and Ward, both full Poole assets, have enjoyed remarkable success with Pirates.
Stricken Holder – who was sidelined for the final months of the 2013 campaign – collected his third gold medal in six seasons with the Dorset club.
Compatriot Ward, signed by Poole in a club-record transfer in November 2009, has reached the grand final in each of his four campaigns with Pirates.
The 21-year-old, widely seen as the world’s most exciting talent, backed up his show-stopping performances by displaying leadership skills to guide Poole to the championship last week.
Retaining the duo would again take up a large chunk of Pirates’ points allowance – although not as much as this year.
Holder’s 2013 starting average has dropped from 9.67 to 9.23 and, in the latest published list, Ward’s figure had dipped from an initial 9.76 to 9.07.
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