ADORNING the shelves in the speedway office at Poole Stadium is a collection of trophies won by Pirates throughout the Matt Ford era.

A total of eight league titles, as well as an array of cups and shields, have been gained by Poole since the owner purchased the club more than 20 years ago.

But with a new challenge under way for Pirates this season in the second tier of British speedway, Matt handed the reins to son Danny to take up the task.

And, at the time of writing, Poole could add two more trophies by the end of Friday evening in the form of the SGB Championship, as well as the Knockout Cup.

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“I don’t want to get ahead of myself,” laughed Danny, when asked by the Daily Echo about claiming his own silverware.

“But if you look at my dad’s office, it is full of trophies commemorating all of the titles he’s won with the Pirates.

“It would be nice to start my own shelf at some stage! Hopefully that can start this week.

“Going into the season, I knew what to expect. I had been sat in with him (Matt) behind the scenes for a long time and how he does things.

“But there are, of course, things I have picked up throughout the season – little snippets here and there but it’s all kind of added to my experience.”

A boyhood fan of Pirates while Matt earned success in the sport throughout the turn of the century, Danny made the 16-hour round trip to see Poole gain a 47-42 advantage in the first leg of the Knockout Cup at Edinburgh at the weekend.

Tomorrow, Poole head to Glasgow to compete in the first leg of the league final – before welcoming Edinburgh in the second leg of the cup on Wednesday night.

Pirates’ season is then capped off by the chance to win the big one on Friday, when Glasgow visit Poole Stadium for the second leg of the league finale.

“Emotions are high, particularly at this time of year,” admitted Danny. “I felt that on Saturday. We were desperate to win and I know the boys are desperate to win as well.

“We are all desperate to do this for the supporters and hopefully we can put on a decent show and bring home the silverware – it’s definitely needed.

“It’s already been a successful year, getting the season going and getting a season underway. The club surviving (through the COVID-19 pandemic), it is an achievement in itself.

“To go and win it and potentially win a double would be the icing on the cake. To be honest, I am very confident we can do the business now.

“I don’t want to sound big headed or arrogant but I am so confident in this team we have put together, I feel if we don’t achieve the double now, anything less than that is an underachievement.”

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He added: “We have done our job. We got the season going, which was the hardest bit and we’ve put together a successful team.

“Now it’s down to the boys to do what they have been doing all year. I am very confident they will and they have shown that, coming to this crunch time at the end of the season.

“That’s when the Pirates do come alive and this year is no different.”

Big pressure meetings bring tension to both riders and promoters alike, especially in the play-off era of the sport.

So does promoter Danny do anything specific, to ensure luck is with Poole on race nights?

He replied: “I have never really been one for superstition but when we were at Leicester home and away a couple of weeks ago. I felt that was a very tough fixture for us.

“We had gone a few weeks without riding and I felt that if we could make it through that, we had a really good shot at trophies and silverware this year.

“When we were at Leicester for the play-off second leg, we only had a six-point lead. I found myself standing on the same step every race I watched at that meeting. It did the job!

“I’ve never been one for superstition but for some reason, that night, I felt we just needed a little bit more other worldly intervention.”