DANNY Ford said “everything is moving in the right direction” after Pirates learned their planned fixtures for the 2021 campaign.

Subject to coronavirus restrictions, the Wimborne Road outfit are set to take to the track at Leicester in their SGB Championship opener on Saturday, May 8.

The meeting is set to take place after league racing in Britain was last season wiped out due to the global pandemic.

But speaking to the Daily Echo after this year’s fixtures were released, Ford said: “It’s been a long time coming. It’s a huge relief and it’s starting to feel a bit real now.

“Obviously there has been a lot of speculation and it’s been a long road to get here but the hard work seems to be coming to a head.

“Everything is moving in the right direction for the start of the season.

“There is still along way to go between now and May but it is now looking good. The plans are in place and as soon as we get that green light, which hopefully we will do, we can finally get back to racing.

“It’s going to be huge.”

Pirates have away fixtures against Leicester, Glasgow and Redcar to kick off their league schedule, before a double-header across two nights in the Knockout Cup against Plymouth.

Their first home contest of the season will be against the Gladiators on Wednesday, May 26.

“A lot can change between now and then,” said Ford.

“We have been extra cautious with our fixture list, we start off with four away fixtures before coming into a home fixture in late May.

“We have done that to be ultra-cautious so we have got that little bit of leeway should anything be delayed for any reason.

“I appreciate that’s a little bit longer to wait for our fans but I’m sure they will understand our reason for doing so. We are just really happy to get going now.”

Should everything go to plan, Pirates’ first home clash could see the return of Poole legend Bjarne Pedersen and three-time world champion Jason Crump.

The pair have provided box office signings for Championship new boys Plymouth.

Ford said: “British Speedway has got a fair amount of flak recently because we haven’t been able to produce anything.

“We haven’t been able to give our riders any indication of when the season is likely to start. Finally being able to do this for the guys, they are over the moon.

“All of our boys are just riding in the UK and the fact we are able to produce this list, it’s a pretty packed calendar and they are really excited.

“They are all chomping at the bit to get going. So are we, so are our supporters, so it’s all positive and really exciting for the sport.”

Ford also confirmed Poole were still set to operate with Neil Middleditch and Gary Havelock as team managers this season.


Bournemouth Echo:

(Graphic: Poole Speedway)