Poole Pirates: Middlo would welcome football club to stadium

Bournemouth Echo: MANAGER: Neil Middleditch MANAGER: Neil Middleditch

PIRATES team manager Neil Middleditch insists he would welcome non-league Poole Town to Wimborne Road with open arms.

As revealed yesterday by the Daily Echo, Eddie Mitchell, who acquired a two-year majority share option at the Dolphins in December, has opened talks with Poole Stadium operators Stadia UK regarding plans to return the Southern League club to its spiritual home.

Talks between the parties have focused on a new multi-purpose arena that would provide a home for the Coastal Aluminium Pirates, Poole Town and greyhound racing.

Pirates promoter Matt Ford yesterday promised fans that speedway would remain in the town for years to come and now team manager Middleditch has thrown his support behind the proposed joint venture.

He told the Daily Echo: “Poole Town have always been a huge part of Poole and I think there’s room for the two of us at the stadium and it would be great.

“They will get publicity from us as we will from them and maybe some football fans will come to speedway and vice versa.

“If it happens, as long as everything is in harmony, I’m all for it.”

Inevitably, plans to house a speedway track and a football pitch on the same site throw up logistical challenges.

However, these were circumvented during Poole Town’s last spell at the stadium between 1948 and 1994.

Middleditch knows from first-hand experience that there are certain layout concerns that will have to be worked on, should plans accelerate to move the Dolphins back to their former home.

He said: “I remember when I raced with Poole, they had the corners on pallets because it wasn’t quite big enough for a full-sized football pitch.

“They used to have to put corners on because the centre green wasn’t big enough for a regulation football pitch.

“We’re 30 years down the line now so we may have something more high-tech than pallets with some turf thrown on it, but it was only ever a very small piece of the pitch around the corner flag.

“I think that’s something they will have to look at.”

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