WHILE many a rider throughout the years would have endured a tough night at Wimborne Road – only a rare few would look to put things right within minutes of the meeting’s conclusion.

That is exactly what Pirates charger Zane Keleher did, when he was spinning some practice laps following Poole’s 52-38 victory over Berwick last week.

It was not the night the Rockhampton-born rider was after, with just one point from his three rides.

But having waited the best part of 18 months to compete, since signing for Pirates in January 2020, Keleher is keen to take every opportunity to showcase his ability.

Asked during a practice session last week whether he thrived on the pressure he put on himself, the former motocross rider told the Daily Echo: “Yeah, I guess.

“No-one expects bigger things from us than ourselves and you know, I am going to be more disappointed than anyone if I don’t score well.

“You have just got to rise up to the challenge, learn from all your mistakes and step it up each week.

“Matt (Ford) knows me pretty well. That’s why he put me at number two – I was keen to get out there, so that’s why he put me at number two straight away.”

He added: “It’s been difficult because this year we didn’t know when and if it was going to start. A month ago, I was working full-time engineering.

“So, to come over here the past couple of weeks, now I am full-time speedway, it’s a bit of a shock.

“But it’s something I have worked hard for and wanted to do for so long - now to finally get here and do it.

“I had a moment driving home from Glasgow. I finally realised that I am doing what I want to do and it hit home. I am keen to crack on and take it to the next level.”

Keleher may not have ridden on many British tracks, having come over for a second chance of a UK season in 2021.


A member of the Pirates 2020 septet which never was, he had spent his time studying the venues he was set to line up at.

But, as the Aussie ace admits himself, there is nothing quite like learning by taking part on the real thing.

“I’ve been in the UK for a few weeks now, had a few practices, a few races,” he said.

“Both away meetings were tough, two new tracks for me and you can’t expect to go scoring big points straight away on new tracks.

“You’ve got to take the positives, I made good starts and scored points in both and I started to get a feel for those tracks.

“Every track I think is different to what you actually see on film.

“You can watch as many videos as you want but until you actually spin a lap you don’t actually get a feel for it.

“I have had a couple of practices now and I am starting to get into the groove.”

The 28-year-old does have three experienced heat leaders in Pirates’ line-up to help offer some of their nous and knowhow in Britain.

Rory Schlein, Danny King and Steve Worrall are all experienced heads in Poole’s 2021 line-up.

Asked how much he could learn from working alongside them, Keleher replied: “A lot. Obviously, on track walks and team strategy and stuff like that.

“But at the end of the day it comes down to me on the bike.

“You can take all the advice on board but at the end of the day, it’s up to me.”