MATT Ford has revealed Pirates new boy Joe Screen has shed almost two stones ahead of press and practice at Wimborne Road today.

Much has been made of Screen’s battle against the bulge over the past few seasons by speedway fans across the country.

But the former Belle Vue rider, who joins Poole on loan, is believed to be in tip-top condition as he enters a new phase in his career.

Many critics wrote off the 36-year-old ex-Grand Prix star after news broke that he had joined Poole over the winter.

However, it appears Warrington-based Screen has since won over the majority of the Dorset club’s fans with his all out efforts to combat his weight problems of the past.

With a new-look Screen set to get a run out at Wimborne Road today, Poole co-promoter Ford said: “Joe has lost 27lbs already and just returned from a holiday where he was doing a 5km run every morning.

“He’s taken his winter preparations more seriously than he has for a long time.

“You have to be honest, and Joe and I were honest with each other, he was probably on the slippery slope of speedway being a comfortable way of making a living.

“This move has revitalised and rejuvenated him. He’s feeling like he has a lot to prove. He wants to prove to people he isn’t a spent force.

“I have to say, and Joe knows this, he wasn’t my first choice. There was someone else we looked up around his average, but he went to another club and then Joe came into our plans.

“He’s been almost like a schoolboy since joining us. The commitment of travelling from the north every week just shows how he is getting behind everything.

“Joe’s doing everything right off the track. Now he just has to do it on it, and I believe people will see a totally different Joe Screen this year.

“I feel Joe has a good point in him above his starting average of 6.03.”

  • Gates open at 4.30pm for public admission to Poole’s practice. Admission is £1 per person.