PIRATES fans are no strangers to a headgear phenomenon sweeping its way across Wimborne Road.

When Ben Basso proved the catalyst for a cowboy hat craze having arrived from Denmark last season, the Dorset club were provided with a breath of fresh air en route to sealing a league and cup double.

For new recruit Drew Kemp at Poole in 2022, his trademark hat will very much stay the same due to superstition.

Despite being only 19 years of age, the new Pirates racer is synonymous for wearing a bucket hat in and around the pits on race nights – and would be keen for Pirates fans to embrace his style of headgear.

Asked whether he would like to see Poole fans wearing bucket hats in support of him around Wimborne Road, Kemp told the Daily Echo: “That would be good to make my mark on the team a little bit!

“I don’t do it to be different as such. It’s just the way I am.

“When I first used the bucket hat I didn’t actually think it would get as big as it is but it has.

“We have just got to embrace that a little bit and I hope to see as many Poole fans as possible with bucket hats.

“I don’t really know what started it off. I used it once I think when I won my second under-19 British Championship.

“I wore it and because I am very superstitious it’s just sort of stuck. I probably need a new hat, to be honest! It’s been the same hat for the past three years but it’s here to stay – put it that way.”

Asked what other superstitions had crept into his craft since becoming a speedway rider, the GB youth international kept his cards close to his chest.

“There’s loads of things I do but it’s stuff that makes me feel better,” he added. “I am sure there will be a few fans that will see what I do this year that helps me out.

“You will just have to wait and see!”

Nevertheless, Kemp admitted it took just one phone call from Matt Ford to link up with Pirates this season, as he starts the campaign alongside Nathan Ablitt at reserve.

Asked what it was like to be asked to join Poole, the rising star said: “It was pretty unexpected because obviously I was riding for Edinburgh at the end of the year and I sort of expected myself to be there again.

“It was a long old way but you just sort of think to myself ‘that’s where I’ll be’.

“For Matt to ring me up – at the end of that phone call I had already agreed a deal.

“It excites me to be able to ride for the Pirates and to really get going.

“To be a Pirate is a great honour really. It’s a club with great history and for me to be a part of that at such a young age, is brilliant.

“It’s somewhere that I can really see myself and see myself thriving. Just to keep progressing and get to the point where I want to be.”

A quote on Kemp’s official website reads: “The reason I’m in the gym at 6am. The reason I eat healthily and go to bed early. The reason I practice at every opportunity. It’s because I want to be the best.

“I want to be the world speedway champion. Nothing else.”

And the Osnabrück-born racer insisted following in the footsteps of some of Poole’s famous names would help him reach the peak of his powers.

He said: “Obviously you have the riders like Bjarne Pedersen, Darcy (Ward) and Chris (Holder).

“All of them have made such an impact on speedway as a sport – Poole Pirates are obviously doing something right in bring those riders through.

“Hopefully it’s something I can replicate with them and go on to reach being world-class, which they did.”

Kemp is set to be part of Poole legend Pedersen’s farewell meeting at Wimborne Road on Wednesday.