DANNY Ford was delighted to welcome back Pirates legend Gary Havelock into a team manager role alongside Neil Middleditch and added: “The history those two have is absolutely phenomenal.”

Poole favourite Havelock will partner up with stalwart team boss Middleditch in a change of approach for race day management in 2020.

While Middleditch will oversee home and Southern SGB Championship fixtures, Havelock will take the reins as team manager in away contests.

And Ford insisted the dynamic duo’s experience will play a huge factor in a successful return to the second tier of British speedway.

He told the Daily Echo: “When the move down brought the fact we might not be able to retain Middlo’s services, luckily, we have been able to keep him on board in the capacity of doing the home and southern fixtures.

“The fact we can bring in an ex-world champion and Pirates legend in Gary Havelock is absolutely fantastic. I could not think of anyone better who could help fill that void.

“The history those two have is absolutely phenomenal. The fact we have two guys with the experience they’ve got leading the Pirates in our first back season in the Championship – you couldn’t ask for more.

“I am really excited and happy with the management team we have got.”

Former world champion Havelock, who has also managed Coventry, rode for Pirates between 1998 and 2002 and also skippered the club.

He scored 1,435 points throughout his Poole career from 745 rides.

Asked for his memories of Middlesbrough-based Havelock when growing up as a fan at Poole, Oakdale resident Ford replied: “I probably caught him towards the end of his career but he was a leader, a great motivator for a team – a really good guy to have in your corner. When he was down (as a manager) with Coventry in the play-offs against us, he really got the team going.

“Hopefully he can do a similar job for us.

“There is a lot of travelling and the guys will need a lot of motivating. Having someone of Havvy’s experience, we could not find anyone better to fill that void.”

Quizzed on the dynamic of having two team managers, Ford said: “It’s not really been the traditional thing but more teams are doing it.

“If you look at Team GB, they are going to have two team managers in Simon Stead and Ollie Allen.

“It will take a little bit of adjusting for the boys – Havvy and Middlo will all have their own different management styles but you have two of the most experienced guys in British speedway there.

“I don’t think there is anyone better.”