NEIL Middleditch has backed Pirates young guns Brady Kurtz and Jack Holder to reach the World Under-21 Championship.
Kurtz will hope to progress from the first semi-final in Czech city Pardubice tomorrow while Holder goes in Saturday’s meeting at Terenzano, located in the north east of Italy.
Former Somerset star Kurtz finished eighth in the championship proper in 2015 but failed to qualify last year, with Holder pipped to the bronze medal by British racer Robert Lambert.
Pirates boss Middleditch told the Daily Echo: “At the moment they are both going very well so I’m hoping for good things from them.
"At the last meeting at Poole, Jack was making some great starts and he’s a very quick lad when he’s in front.
"As you raise the bar, it’s always difficult to get points from behind, so gating is of paramount importance for both of them.
“It’s Brady’s chance to make his mark and I’d like to think they can both get through.”
The top four in both rounds will earn automatic progress.
Pardubice line-up: Kenny Wennerstam, Dmytro Mostowik, Josef Novak, Lukas Fienhage, Brady Kurtz, Nick Skorja, Maksym Drabik, Jonas Jeppesen, Patrik Mikel, Dominik Moeser, Cristian Zubillaga, Jan Mihalik, Dominik Kubera, Patrick Hansen, Jake Turner, Zdenek Holub. Reserves: Filip Hajek, Pavel Cermak.
Terenzano line-up: Jack Holder, Broc Nicol, Gaetan Stella, Mattia Lenarduzzi, Andreas Lyager, Daniel Kaczmarek, Mike Jacopetti, Michael Haertel, Lasse Fredriksen, Filip Hjelmland, Eduard Krcmar, Max Fricke, Jordan Dubernard, Sandro Wassermann, Kacper Woryna, Josh Bates. Reserve: Michele Menani.
Meanwhile, Nicolai Klindt delivered seven paid eight points for Indianerna on Tuesday after answering his Swedish club’s late call.
The Dane was named in the septet to face reigning champions Rospiggarna, replacing Czech charger Vaclav Milik who had been ruled out through injury. And Klindt duly racked up a solid haul in the 47-43 win at Kumla Motorstadion.
Elsewhere, Poole skipper Hans Andersen bagged eight in Lejonen’s 46-44 win at Dackarna.