Speedway: Ford regrets Rohan missing out on new Pirates line-up

POPULAR RIDER: Rohan Tungate at Wimborne Road

POPULAR RIDER: Rohan Tungate at Wimborne Road

First published in Sport
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Bournemouth Echo: Photograph of the Author by

PIRATES chief Matt Ford is hoping to bring Rohan Tungate back to Wimborne Road in the future – despite being unable to offer him a 2014 place.

Ford admitted his disappointment at rule changes restricting his options and making the Australian prospect a casualty of new team-building regulations.

Tungate made 25 Elite League appearances for Poole in his debut season with the club in 2013 before injury prevented him from featuring in the grand final.

Together with Maciej Janowski, Tungate was one of only two riders to stay in Pirates’ declared one-to-seven all year on the back of a series of consistent displays.

But with the limit for teams’ top-five riders slashed to 32 points ahead of next season, Ford’s plans to retain the 24-year-old were scuppered under the new system.

The Pirates promoter, who has 7.50 points remaining for the final member of Poole’s 2014 line-up, told the Daily Echo: “When rules change, it always means that some people, who are loyal to the sport, miss out. I have to say that Rohan is like that to me. He has ridden in Britain for the past couple of years and he has been no trouble to anyone involved in the sport, but the changes make certain people vulnerable. Rohan’s average was in that range.

“He came in last season and did himself proud and he was very good for us. If we were selecting a normal seven-man team, I have no doubt he would have lined up for us next year. We had to make changes and, unfortunately, that was one of them.”

Ford says he is keen to work with Tungate again as the Aussie ace continues to build his reputation in the sport.

“Rules can change quickly and who knows what we will be looking at in 12 months,” added Ford. “He still has time on his side and years ahead of him to make a good name for himself. I would be more than happy if part of that process was with Poole.”

  •  Josh Grajczonek remains on the coattails of the Australian Championship’s leaders after securing a 14-point haul in Undera. The Pirates ace, who burst on to the Elite League scene to aid Poole’s title success towards the end of last season, qualified for the B final in the second of three meetings.

Grajczonek, 23, cruised to eight points from his first three races but went on to take just one from the final two.

Wimborne Road favourite Chris Holder, who has decided against riding in the UK in 2014, won the event to join another former Poole rider Jason Doyle at the top of the standings.

The imperious top two lead the way with 38 points ahead of the final meeting at Gillman on Saturday. Grajczonek sits joint-fourth alongside Eastbourne’s Cameron Woodward on 29 points.

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