Speedway: Skipper Darcy Ward re-signs for Poole Pirates

Bournemouth Echo: STAYING PUT: Poole's speedway sensation Darcy Ward STAYING PUT: Poole's speedway sensation Darcy Ward

POOLE promoter Matt Ford believes he has secured “the most complete speedway rider in the world” by retaining the services of Aussie ace Darcy Ward.

The Pirates chief announced the 21-year-old talent would be staying on as skipper after brokering the Dorset club’s “most important” piece of closed-season business.

Ward, whose maiden Grand Prix campaign was curtailed by a fractured shoulder last season, came back with a late surge to finish in the top eight, ensuring his status as favourite for the world title in 2014.

His form round Wimborne Road was equally impressive, leading Pirates to the Elite League title after taking over the captaincy from crocked world champion and fellow ‘Turbo Twin’ Chris Holder.

And while Ford backed his Queensland-born protégé to succeed in the GP series following an injury-disrupted 2013, the boss also felt Ward’s more mature outlook since becoming Poole’s talisman would quench Pirates’ thirst for trophies once more.

Ford told the Daily Echo: “Darcy is, arguably, the best rider in the world and if he had not been injured last season he might have proved that.

“Without taking anything away from Tai Woffinden, his (Ward’s) performances in the GP – pro-rata – were up there with the very best.

“It is a huge bonus for our fans to know before Christmas that he will be leading our campaign, and while it was expected, it is nice to have it confirmed. People can start looking forward to seeing the most complete speedway rider in the world representing Pirates again.”

On Ward’s new-found leadership qualities, Ford continued: “Darcy has an obvious talent, but recently he has offered so much more than his on-track ability.

“When he came in as club captain last season, everyone connected with the club was probably surprised at what an exceptional leader he became.

“In the pits he was tremendous, looking after everyone in the team, giving advice and loaning bikes.

"It was quite something and the most important thing for us was to make sure Darcy would lead our campaign for silverware again in 2014.”

Ward becomes the fourth rider to commit to Poole’s cause alongside Josh Grajczonek and reserve duo Kyle Newman and Lee Smart, who were selected in Tuesday’s draft of National League riders.

Elite League clubs have to assemble their top five within an average of 32 points for the forthcoming campaign. The inclusion of Ward, who tops the bill with 9.07, leaves Ford with 18.45 points to recruit the remaining three.

Poole’s promoter stayed tight-lipped over the identity of any prospective signings but intimated he could announce more team news “over the next few weeks.”

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Comments (4)

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9:47am Thu 5 Dec 13

Simon Pharter says...

Darcy is simply brillian!
Darcy is simply brillian! Simon Pharter

3:44pm Thu 5 Dec 13

canfordcherry says...

If he can keep a calm head on and off the track!
If he can keep a calm head on and off the track! canfordcherry

9:23pm Thu 5 Dec 13

boby says...

I think its unfair to claim as the best rider in the world as he wasnt, Tai woffinden has been through many unlucky life events not of his doing. He has come through them and is the best rider in the world. Its naive to say Darcy is because he hasnt proven that to the contrary. I am sure he would not of wanted Matt to claim this. All the best for the new season Darcy
I think its unfair to claim as the best rider in the world as he wasnt, Tai woffinden has been through many unlucky life events not of his doing. He has come through them and is the best rider in the world. Its naive to say Darcy is because he hasnt proven that to the contrary. I am sure he would not of wanted Matt to claim this. All the best for the new season Darcy boby

10:20pm Thu 5 Dec 13

gameon says...

boby wrote:
I think its unfair to claim as the best rider in the world as he wasnt, Tai woffinden has been through many unlucky life events not of his doing. He has come through them and is the best rider in the world. Its naive to say Darcy is because he hasnt proven that to the contrary. I am sure he would not of wanted Matt to claim this. All the best for the new season Darcy
Il go with that plus i think he does a good job as skipper roll on March.
[quote][p][bold]boby[/bold] wrote: I think its unfair to claim as the best rider in the world as he wasnt, Tai woffinden has been through many unlucky life events not of his doing. He has come through them and is the best rider in the world. Its naive to say Darcy is because he hasnt proven that to the contrary. I am sure he would not of wanted Matt to claim this. All the best for the new season Darcy[/p][/quote]Il go with that plus i think he does a good job as skipper roll on March. gameon

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