NEIL Middleditch described as a "fantastic rollercoaster" his time as team manager of Poole Pirates, after securing his 25th trophy at the club.

Middlo took over more than 20 years ago, prior to the 1999 campaign, and has delivered trophies consistently ever since.

That included the 2021 season, which has just finished with Pirates securing the SGB Championship and Knockout Cup double.

Pirates defeated Edinburgh Monarchs over two legs to lift the cup, before the league campaign was delayed into November, Poole eventually emerging victorious at Wimborne Road against Glasgow Tigers, overturning a first-leg 10-point deficit.

Asked for his emotions after sealing his 25th title for the club, Middleditch, who shared team manager duties with Gary Havelock this year, told the Daily Echo: "It’s pretty impressive isn’t it?

"I’ve got to say, even when I look back I think ‘woah’. It’s been a rollercoaster but it’s been a fantastic rollercoaster.

“In the final, 10 points down, it was tough.

“Luckily we had the weather, two good race tracks, two good teams and the best team won."

Discussing the season as a whole and Poole Pirates' class of 2021, Middleditch added: "I have worked with some great riders. Darcy (Ward), Chris (Holder), Tony (Rickardsson) and all those boys but I have to say this year, the team spirit throughout was absolutely fantastic.

“They were never in doubt. They really, really wanted it and it showed.

“I said before the meeting (second leg against Glasgow) ‘we have to hit them hard, try to reduce the deficit', which is exactly what we did."

While Middleditch took his tally to 25 trophies earlier this month, for Havelock, the cup and league double in the past few weeks represented his first trophies in charge of Pirates.

And, fittingly, the Championship Grand Final second leg happened to fall on his 53rd birthday.

He said: "I can't remember a nicer present, at least in recent memory!

"All these boys have been an absolute pleasure to work with and I would like to thank all the mechanics who do so much behind the scenes but often don't get a mention.

"But also, I think the whole Poole club deserves this success.

"What a team, what a set of fans too. I haven't been here for every meeting but the atmosphere that there has been on the occasions I have been down has been incredible."

Pirates promoter Danny Ford confirmed to the Echo last week that the club will hope to start announcing their line-up for the 2022 season early in December.