Poole Pirates team manager Neil Middleditch: Persistence got Brendan Johnson his Wimborne Road move

IN CHARGE: Neil Middleditch

IN CHARGE: Neil Middleditch

First published in Sport by

TEAM boss Neil Middleditch revealed that Brendan Johnson’s sheer persistence had paved the way for his dream move to Poole Pirates.

Poole-based Johnson, 22, last week replaced Ben Hopwood as one of the fast track riders at Wimborne Road and made a solid start with two points against Belle Vue and a three paid five at Swindon last Thursday.

His chance at Elite League level has arrived less than five years after a horror crash on the Isle of Wight, which saw Johnson placed on life support and into an induced coma in August 2009.

Since then, the Mildenhall charger has appeared at several National League clubs before forcing his way into Pirates’ plans on the back of the Dorset club’s difficulties at reserve in 2014.

Middleditch told the Daily Echo: “Brendan has been almost stalking me for a few weeks with messages saying how he wanted to give it a go. He’s a local boy and being here is a dream come true for him.

“I persuaded Matt (Ford, promoter) because Poole has a great way of bringing along riders. The enthusiasm round the whole club puts points on your average and builds on that desire to do well.

“Brendan’s equipment is good and so is his attitude. He had a nasty injury a few years back and to bounce back from that was quite a feat.

“He has to make the starts but having watched him I could see how he was battling and pushing in every race. He didn’t have the race lines in his first meeting but committed to getting himself out there afterwards to do some practice laps.

“If he picks up two or three points per meeting and Kyle (Newman, Poole’s other reserve) keeps scoring as he is then that’s a good reserve pairing.

"He (Johnson) needs more track time but he really wants to be here and I am really pleased with his work so far.”

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