PROMOTER Matt Ford tipped Ellis Perks to flourish at Premier League Scunthorpe after the promising youngster had joined Pirates’ burgeoning asset base.

The 18-year-old is set for his first full campaign in British speedway having made an impressive late-season cameo for Scunthorpe’s now-defunct second team last year.

Ford and co-promoter Gordon Pairman had provided Perks with financial support last season and had been heavily involved in securing the Worcester-born rider team places at Scorpions and National League Cradley for 2015.

And Ford insisted that Perks – who returned from a seven-year spell in Australia last year – would thrive in the second tier.

Ahead of Perks’ guest booking for Pirates at Somerset tomorrow night (7.30pm), Ford told the Daily Echo: “In essence Ellis has only just arrived on these shores. This is a more serious year for him now so, hopefully, he can progress and at Scunthorpe, I think he will.

“I can’t think of anywhere more fitting for him to gain a grounding than with Scunthorpe’s promoter, Rob Godfrey, who I have a great understanding with.

“People are aware that Rob and I had an association over his second team in the National League, the Stags, where we invested in that team.

“There has been a few riders to emerge from that – Sam Chapman recently signed for Plymouth and Arron Mogridge looks set for a very prosperous career.

“I’m happy with the association and I believe it will prove beneficial to Poole Speedway in the future.

“Ellis did exceptionally well for the Stags during a six-week period in the National League and this year will be another stage of his progression.

“Hopefully, he can go on to become a great rider for Team GB and in particular for Poole Pirates.”

Perks’ father Robbie is a former Speedway Control Bureau referee while his great uncle Dave was a fans’ favourite at Cradley in the 1970s and 1980s.

The teenager is set to make his Pirates bow in tomorrow’s challenge match at the Oak Tree Arena as regular reserve Paul Starke is due to ride for parent club Somerset.

Ford added: “It will be a baptism of fire for Ellis to go to Somerset to take on those guys but I think it will be a good one for him.

“Hopefully, he can pick up a point or two and show the capabilities he has got.”