PIRATES charger Adam Ellis insisted it was not a hard decision to return to Wimborne Road and described the club as “the Barcelona of speedway”.

The 24-year-old was announced as returning to the Dorset outfit for 2020 back in December, having mainly represented Poole at reserve in 2016.

Ellis is set to double up between SGB Championship Pirates and Premiership Swindon when the season can get off and running.

Asked what made him return to Pirates, Ellis told Speedway Portal: “Poole has always been seen as the Barcelona of speedway in the UK. They have always been a pretty big club.

“It’s always an honour to ride for Poole and I had a really good year in 2016. I wanted to go back for 2017 but it didn’t happen – I was pretty disappointed.

“Matt (Ford, owner) always looks after you and tries to do whatever he can to keep you happy, so it wasn’t really a hard decision to come back.”

Marmande-born Ellis, who is set to come in on a 7.80 average, had been in the UK ready to begin the campaign before it was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He has since returned to France, where he has been working on his fitness in a bid to stay sharp for when the sport can resume.

“From January onwards most guys including myself try and keep up a regular training routine through five days a week pretty much,” he added.

“It hasn’t really changed. It was difficult doing it in England because I was renting a flat so I was stuck indoors doing it from my living room - but there’s always workouts you can do.

“Since I got back to France the weather has been really good – it’s like 20 degrees during the day and really sunny.

“I have got a spinning bike and some weights, so I’ve taken it all outside in the garden and I’m doing that to keep fit.”

The world cup silver medallist has also taken to gaming in a bid to beat the boredom of not being able to get on track.

“I do play a bit of Xbox,” he added. “I’ll be honest, I’ve been playing it quite a bit recently. You kind of get a bit bored of not doing anything.

“Anything from FIFA, to Call Of Duty to motocross games. Anything to bide the time.”