HUNGRY Neil Middleditch admits his desire to add silverware to Pirates’ bulging trophy cabinet is as strong as ever as the 2014 season draws closer.
Since taking over prior to the 1999 campaign, the team manager has secured 13 honours for Poole including five Elite League titles.
And Middleditch’s motivation remains sky-high as he prepares to launch another title assault in April.
He told the Daily Echo: “My enthusiasm for Poole never wanes.
“I keep repeating it over and over again, I’ve been a supporter, a rider and a manager and I’ve loved every aspect of being involved.
“Matt Ford is a fantastic promoter with the same passion for Poole Speedway as me and that’s a key factor.
“It’s not just a business for Matt, he’s got a passion for the club and that’s why he demands success and we like to give success to the fans.
“We never want to stop winning. I want it every year and if we don’t make the final this year I’ll be disappointed, but I know that if we don’t, it won’t be through lack of trying.”
Middleditch believes the 2013 Elite League win - Poole’s second league title in three seasons - was the club’s most impressive triumph.
And the 57-year-old vowed that the fighting spirit shown in that campaign will be present once more in 2014.
He said: “Last year was a fantastic season and was probably our finest win. We never gave up when perhaps some other clubs would have thrown in the towel.
“Matt and I said we would always put a team together that would entertain the crowd and we did that. We made some changes because of injury, got to the final and won it.
“We’ll never give up and that will be the same this season. Pirates will be there for sure.”
Middleditch has been impressed by certain line-ups that his team will face in the upcoming campaign, but insists it is difficult to judge who will challenge for honours at this stage.
He said: “Belle Vue and Swindon have assembled good teams, but they are all good teams out there.
“We need to go two or three weeks into the season when things will have settled down and then we can get a good gauge on who is going to be there or thereabouts.
“There are some teams with top riders, but it’s the back-up they get which is going to be key.”
- See today's Daily Echo for our 12-page Pirates' preview supplement, including team poster.