NEIL Middleditch admitted not including Chris Holder in last year's Pirates septet had not paid off and said: "That's history now."

Five-time Elite League winner Holder was frozen out of Matt Ford's team-building plans due to his weighty average, instead enduring a troubled season at King's Lynn.

His replacement at number one, Krzysztof Kasprzak, experienced a woeful campaign and was axed in July, Poole reaching the play-off semi-finals in the Pole's absence.

Team boss Middleditch made no attempt to hide his hopes of a return for Aussie star Holder and boss Ford completed a deal in January.

And with the fans' favourite back on board, Middleditch told the Daily Echo: "Chris has always been Poole through and through. Matt made a decision which he thought was best for the team last year to allow for team-building.

"I don't want to say it backfired but it didn't work. Matt doesn't make many mistakes but I think even he would say it was one we made. But that's history now and we just have to get back on the winning trail this season.

"Chris has had a rough few years on and off the track and, hopefully, he can come here with a clean slate and a clear head and do the job we know he can.

"He's very well liked at Poole. There may be some people who criticise him for some things but all in all he's a great rider who has served the club fantastically and, hopefully, this year will be no different."