POOLE Pirates are finally set to return to action tomorrow night, heading to Plymouth Gladiators in the Championship Knockout Cup (7pm).

Providing the weather holds, Neil Middleditch's men will head to Devon for the club's first meeting in more than 600 days, since their Premiership play-off defeat to Ipswich in September 2019.

Having taken voluntary relegation, it will also be the first time Poole have ridden in this second-tier cup competition since cruising past Middlesbrough to win the event in 1990.

Looking ahead to speedway returning for Pirates, promoter Danny Ford said: "It has been a very long drought without any speedway racing with last year having been totally wiped out, but at long last we find ourselves on the resumption of racing and I think it is going to be a very special night down at Plymouth, for a number of reasons.

"Not only does it signify the return to racing for Poole Speedway after that enforced break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will also be the first fixture in a new era for the club after our decision to drop down a league. Also, as things have panned out, our visit will be the first meeting at the Coliseum since Plymouth were elected back to the Championship."

He added: "Furthermore, the Gladiators are spearheaded by two riders who, in their careers, have both been great ambassadors for the Pirates, in Bjarne Pedersen and Jason Crump, and that can only add an extra bit of spice to the occasion.

"I know our lads are really keen to get going and we have six riders all making their official debuts for our club, with only Stefan Nielsen having previously ridden for us in an official capacity. In skipper Danny King, number one Rory Schlein and third heat leader Steve Worrall we have three vastly experienced riders, each of whom is captain of their respective Premiership clubs and so our new boys, Zane Keleher, Ben Cook and Danyon Hume, along with Stefan will have plenty of advice and support to call upon, which can only be a positive thing for the team.

"Of course, this fixture also throws up a battle of the Cook boys and Ben will be eager for the bragging rights between the two brothers.

"For all the romance surrounding this match, let me make it absolutely clear, that it is our intention to send the message to the whole of the Championship that the Pirates are back, as hungry as ever, with our eyes set firmly on any pieces of silver that are going."