BEN Cook says returning to Poole Pirates for a fourth season “was a very easy decision”, adding how taking on the captaincy was something he “couldn’t resist”.

Cook has been announced as Pirates’ first member of their 2024 septet, where he will also replace the departing Steve Worrall as captain.

The 26-year-old has joined on a 7.39 average, as Poole look to build to the new lower points limit of 38 for the upcoming SGB Championship season.

In his time at Poole, Cook has won two league titles, two Knockout Cups and the BSN Series.

“It has been a great and successful three seasons for me with Poole and it was a very easy decision to come back for my fourth consecutive season as a Pirate,” said Cook.

"Although we fell short in the Knockout Cup and the league this year, I’m sure we can come back from that heartbreak and get back to winning ways.

"2024 will be a big year for the Pirates and I’m excited to get the season started."

Discussing taking on the captaincy, Cook added: “I have watched the Pirates from a young age and always hoped one day to race for them.

“So to be asked to take over as captain for next season was a pretty cool honour, one I couldn’t resist.

“I’ve learnt a lot from my previous captains, Danny King and Stevie, so I’ll be sure to give my all."

Cook, who also rode in the Premiership with Peterborough Panthers last season, totalled 315 points from 164 races for Poole in 2023.