WHILE the COVID-19 outbreak has caused so much uncertainty – imagine packing your bags, jetting to the other side of the world and starting a new life from scratch just two weeks ago.

That is exactly what new Pirates recruit Zane Keleher has done, as he looks to make his dream of success in the skull and crossbones a reality.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic now delaying his debut campaign in Britain, one thing is for certain, the 27-year-old is still driven to make his new professional career a triumph - whenever he can get on track at Wimborne Road.

Announced as a signing for Poole back in January, Keleher had been working in engineering for 12 years back in his homeland until the end of last month.

The Queenslander has since travelled to the UK and set up his base at Fordingbridge.

Keleher admits he has come over here with “nothing”, despite having a good life, good job and familiar surroundings back down under.

But when Poole came calling, the determined Aussie never gave the brave move a second thought.

“I had already set up a career in Australia and had my life and stuff back home,” he told the Daily Echo.

“It’s a good life in Australia – all my friends and family are there.

“To me, it’s a big commitment to give that up because I’m a little bit older than most guys that come over here for the first time.

“But when you want to be a racer, you want to race your motorbike and want to be the best you can be, you’ve got to make the sacrifices.

“That’s what I’ve done to come over here and basically start from scratch.

“I have nothing here, no family, no tools, no bikes – so I literally started from scratch again.”

Keleher plans to remain in the UK until the 2020 British season eventually gets underway – league chiefs earlier this week revealed they would review the situation on April 15.

But that has not stopped the new Pirates signing from pushing on in a bid to have an impressive first season.

“It’s obviously disappointing. Coming all the way from Australia and having a lot of expense to get set up and ready to go,” he said, when asked about the league’s postponement.

“When you put so much into it and it’s a dream you have been working for, for the past couple of years. I think it will still happen. It’s just a case of waiting a little longer.

“At the end of the day, there is nothing we can really do about it. I am sure there are people who are worse off than me and the rest of the team.

“We just have to wait it out and, hopefully, we can get started as soon as possible.

“I am planning to stay. For me, I don’t really see the point in going home. It’s the same situation back in Australia.

“I am going to wait here and I am still going to be busy because I am getting ready and organised, meeting sponsors and getting set up.

“I have been here for two weeks now and everything has been flat out because there has been so much to do. Bank accounts, finishing off paperwork, getting a van, doing the bike, setting up the workshop and settling into a new house.

“It has been full on but I think I’ve settled in pretty good. The people I have around me are good and I have met some nice people already.”

Keleher, who already knew fellow Aussies Ben Cook and Josh MacDonald before making the switch to Pirates – did get the chance to bond with his Poole team-mates at owner Matt Ford’s Chateau La Briance earlier this month.

“It was really good because I knew the Australian boys but had never met the other four,” said Keleher.

“It was a good opportunity to meet them and get to know everyone before the season starts.

“The way Matt did it was really smart. He knows bonding and having good team morale is good, so I think that’s going to be beneficial once we get started.

“It’s going to be good working for Matt. He has won a lot of titles, knows what he’s doing and is very professional, which I like. It’s how I operate and I think we can do some good things together.”

He added: “It’s a dream come true to ride for Poole because it’s such a world-renowned team.

“When I first got the news from Matt, I was over the moon and I couldn’t really believe it.

“You sort of pinch yourself, realise it’s true and then I was flat out to get everything organised.

“There is a lot of pressure for us to win and do well but when we put the helmet on, we want to do well anyway.”