IT IS not often one of the most successful clubs in the country calls out the blue to offer you a spot in their team.

But for Nathan Ablitt, that is exactly what happened over the winter.

As Poole Pirates looked to assemble another title-winning side, their focus turned to one of speedway's rising stars to help fill a slot in their class of 2022.

The 18-year-old, from Sussex, jumped at the opportunity to take one of Pirates' reserve spots.

And as he gets set to make his debut in the skull and crossbones this week, Ablitt could not hide his excitement at getting going.

"I’d spoken to one or two people, but nothing really materialised from it," Ablitt told the Daily Echo when asked about his call from Pirates owner Matt Ford.

"Then I was just at home one day and my phone rings and it is Matt!

"I was obviously delighted and took the opportunity with both hands. I feel really privileged to be here."

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He added: "When I was growing up I watched the Poole Pirates on the TV.

"The likes of Chris Holder, Darcy (Ward), when those boys were here and now I’m in the Poole colours and carrying that on. Hopefully I can have a good year and help Poole win that 10th title (under Neil Middleditch).

"I grew up with Poole dominating in the Premiership. I feel really lucky to be here in the Poole colours."

But Ablitt is not just coming to make up the numbers this season.

The youngster began riding aged just four, going on to become British Youth 150cc champion in 2016, before winning the 250cc title two years later.

That saw him move into the National Development League ranks with Kent, before getting a place at hometown team Eastbourne Eagles.

However, that latter role was short-lived as the Eagles withdrew from the Championship during the 2021 season due to financial difficulties.

Now, Ablitt is looking to lay down some roots.

"I don’t want to be here for one year, I want to be here for a long time," said the ambitious teenager.

"The sort of set-up here and what goes on here, for a rider like me is attractive for a long-term thing.

"Hopefully after a certain amount of meetings I become an asset for the club, so then that’s my future in the club’s hands - if they want to use me, it’s up to them.

"I’ve just got to do my bit this year to make sure next season they don’t look elsewhere."

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He added: "I had a few meetings at this level last year, but this is my first full year. I just want to learn as much as I can.

"I want to progress as much as I can, feed off the boys here.

"We’ve got Stevie (Worrall), Richard (Lawson) and Danny (King) here, three people you couldn’t wish for any more really for a young rider like myself.

"So I just want to learn and progress as much as I can and just have a good, injury-free season and help Poole to another successful season."

Discussing working under experienced team managers Neil Middleditch and Gary Havelock, Ablitt added: "What I can learn this year I think is incredible.

"I’m coming here sort of like a sponge. I want to learn off the lads, the riders and also the managers here.

"You have to look at the riders Neil has brought through and you look at Chris Holder, Darcy Ward, the riders he’s had under his wing, I think it would be silly of me to discard that and I will look to do as much as I can."

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Away from speedway, Ablitt is a keen Chelsea fan and admits he could have looked to take a potential route into football.

But a career on two wheels ultimately provided the greater pull.

"I used to play football to quite a high level and played a bit of rugby," explained Ablitt.

"I was quite active. But the last couple of years it’s sort of taken a back seat.

"I want to focus on my racing, I don’t really have much time for anything else anymore! Which is unfortunate, but that’s the way it is and I’m not complaining."

Asked how he got into speedway in the first place, Ablitt added: "I just started riding down at Eastbourne when I was five or six years old. It was just something to do with my dad at weekends.

"It was something we could do together and never really took it serious until I started when I was a bit older doing the British Championships and had a bit of success in the youth ranks.

"I thought 'maybe let’s take this a bit more serious' and we did and we’re here now.

"I’m still a long way from where I want to be, but I’m climbing that ladder and hopefully have another good year."

Ablitt, who ironically raced against Poole for Peterborough last week in Bjarne Pedersen's farewell meeting, scoring 1+1 across four rides, makes his Pirates debut in the Knockout Cup clash at Plymouth Gladiators on Tuesday evening.

His home debut then comes the following night with the second leg scheduled for Wimborne Road on Wednesday.