PROMOTER Danny Ford believes “smooth operator” Gary Havelock’s experience will be a huge benefit to Pirates this season.

The former world champion is set to take charge of Poole’s northern fixtures away from home as team manager, in the 2021 SGB Championship.

He will share the role with legendary team boss Neil Middleditch, who will oversee the home and southern area contests.

Middleditch is set to take charge when Poole visit Eastbourne Eagles in league action on Saturday, while Havelock’s first fixture at the helm comes against Glasgow on Friday, June 4.

Asked what he felt 52-year-old Havvy could bring to the role, Ford told the Daily Echo: “He’s a real character. He’s great in the pits and he’s a great team man.

“All the riders really respect him. He’s a former world champion and you can’t really hope for more in a co-team manager.

“He really does bring a really good feeling in the pits – Middlo does the same. They are both great characters and I think the riders really respond well to that.

“I think this group we are bringing in will respond well to that as well, we’ve got a great mix of youth and experience.

“Havvy, he’s a smooth operator. He always was a rider, you know? The advice he can pass on, especially to those younger guys, is going to be really important.

“We’ve got three very experienced top hitters in our heat leaders. We know what we are going to get from those guys – they are going to be solid performers.

“But the experience those riders and Havvy and Middlo can pass on to our juniors, and the young Aussies coming over in their first seasons, is going to be paramount to our success.”

1992 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.

Explaining the management structure further, Ford said: “The way we see it at the minute is Middlo is going to do the home and more southern fixtures and Havvy will take charge of the northern ones.

“It seems crazy for Havvy to come down from Middlesbrough to do a fixture at Eastbourne or Plymouth when it’s only a couple of hours for Middlo. That’s how we see that going.

“Both guys are mega keen. Havvy is saying he will do whatever is needed. He will do all the home fixtures if Middlo didn’t want to do them! That’s great – we love that kind of attitude.

“I’m delighted to be working with them both.”