PROMOTER Matt Ford praised Maciej Janowski for not holding Poole Pirates to ransom having snapped up the Pole and compatriot Kacper Gomolski for 2015.

Grand Prix newcomer Janowski, 23, has been handed the captain’s armband at Wimborne Road with former Peterborough and Swindon charger Gomolski completing the club’s one-to-seven.

Poole, who named Chris Holder, Davey Watt and Dakota North alongside fast track reserves Kyle Newman and Paul Starke, delayed announcing their final two riders pending a decision on suspended club asset Darcy Ward’s future.

When Ward was banned until June by the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) – speedway’s global governing body – 13 days ago, it left Ford with a dearth of options to fill his coveted heat leader’s role.

But the Pirates chief revealed that Janowski’s upstanding conduct had eased the negotiation process and that the rising star’s performances in 2014 had made him a shoo-in to skipper the club’s Elite League title defence. 

Ford told the Daily Echo: “The contract negotiation was not difficult at all. It all happened very quickly once we both knew exactly what was going on and I kept Maciej in the picture with the Darcy situation.

“I wouldn’t want people to put two and two together and make five. There were no issues with Maciej with regard to his contractual terms, the delay was down to one or two other issues and nothing to do with the rider.

“Once Maciej had told me he wanted to come back and that his inclination had not changed from the end of last season, reaching an agreement was quite simple. He was very sensible throughout the negotiation process.

“There was never a doubt in my mind that we would want Maciej for this season and beyond and he will lead the club. He stepped up last season and became a true leader.

"Once we gave him that armband, he grew in stature. We have two ex-captains in the team but my first choice was always going to Maciej after what he achieved last season.

“He has a very hard year ahead of him and it will be a learning curve because he will have good and bad days on the Grand Prix circuit.”

Meanwhile, Ford described as “an absolute steal” 22-year-old Gomolski on an average of less than four points.

“The rider most people know from Swindon in 2013 is dramatically different to the one we have now,” he added.

“He was just three points behind Piotr Pawlicki after the final round of the world under-21 finals. Our own Vaclav Milik came seventh and Mikkel Michelsen, who has 6.02 average in the Elite League, came third.

"If you were to speak to any professional speedway rider about him, they would tell you he has improved beyond recognition. At 3.94, he is an absolute steal."