JAMES Shanes admits he fulfilled a dream in riding for Pirates – and is not about to sell his treasured race suit to anyone.

In his rookie season in the top flight, the Puddletown-based reserve put in a series of battling displays to help his local club reach the SGB Premiership play-off semi-final.

Shanes endured a tough start to life in Premiership but showed significant improvement in the second half of the campaign, his extravagant celebrations endearing him further to the Poole faithful.

And the 20-year-old admitted the year had meant so much to him that he could not bear to part with his Pirates Kevlars.

He told the Daily Echo: "It was a dream to ride for Poole. It was on my bucket list and I've done it now and the suit is hanging up in the cupboard.

"Someone asked me if they could buy my suit from this year and I said no! Maybe if I ride for Poole for the next few years, I would consider it, but the first one is staying with me.

"It's in the cupboard where all my suits are so every time I pack my kit bag, it's there with my first new suit and the suit I won my first Masters grass track title in. I open the cupboard and a lot of my memories are covered.

"The season went a lot better than I could have hoped for. At the start of the year I was hoping to finish with a 2.10 average and I ended up on 2.95 so I nearly put a point on in my first year of top-flight speedway.

"It was challenging and there were difficult moments but I pulled through and I can't thank everyone at Poole enough for all the help I have received. Whether it be riders, management or fans, I've had help from everyone.

"I had a half-hour practice session which turned my season round. Ed (Kennett) was out on the track helping me and Hans (Andersen) helped out a bit as well, and Starkey (Paul Starke) gave me a few words of advice.

"I started scoring a bit more consistently after that."

Shanes's displays led Pirates chief Matt Ford to admit he would like the youngster to return to Wimborne Road next year, pending the outcome of the British Speedway Promoters' Association's AGM next week.

And Shanes added: "When Matt said he was thinking about signing me again, it gave a bit more confidence that I hadn't done as badly as I thought I had.

"When I sat down and looked at my results, there was only a couple of times I hadn't scored what everyone expected from me and a lot of the time I had scored more.

"So I think I did my job and now I just have to improve the things I need to improve on."