PROMOTER Danny Ford insisted it was “impossible” not to bring back Pirates title-winning duo Danny King and Steve Worrall for 2022 and added: “I expect big things from them once again.”

Poole announced the experienced British pair as the first of their team members for the upcoming campaign.

King, who will remain the club’s captain, and heat leader Worrall helped the Dorset side seal a league and cup double last season, winning the SGB Championship as well as the Knockout Cup.

And while it has taken far longer than Pirates were hoping to announce their first signings, Ford insisted the pair were synonymous in comparison to Poole line-ups of the past.

He told the Daily Echo: “We did the deals with Stevie and Danny what feels like a lifetime ago now.

“After the season they both had for us last year, it was impossible not to be able to bring them back.

“We have always had strong, heavy hitters at the top of our teams.

“If you look traditionally through Poole teams, I think there is only one season which was 2018, when we didn’t particularly have any particular heavy hitters.

“But you look through the years we have had the Chris Holders, the Darcy Wards and the Tony Rickardssons. I think it’s a staple of a Poole team to always have those big, top riders at the top.

“Steve and Danny certainly fill that void at this level. They were number two and three in the league averages last year and I expect big things from them once again.”

Pirates will at least be making four changes to their line-up in comparison to the side which ended 2021.

Rory Schlein’s retirement means there is a spot open for a heat leader, while Danyon Hume and Ben Basso have headed north of the border to join Glasgow.

Stefan Nielsen, whose campaign ended with injury at Birmingham last season, has linked up with the Brummies for 2022.

But despite any new additions yet to be announced, Ford insisted capturing King and Worrall once again set a strong platform.

“Their averages are so high now,” he admitted. “They are both coming in on a nine-point average, it is detrimental to the rest of the team, slightly.

“But it was something we were willing to do because not only are they both fantastic riders who have taken to the track – the supporters and everybody behind the scenes has really taken to them as well.

“They are both great in the pits as well, they both really want to do the best for the club, which showed last year.

“I think with the way the team is looking, their experience and their leadership is going to be vital.”