MATT Ford revealed his delight at the return of the Knockout Cup and compared it to football’s FA Cup.

The competition is being run for the first time since 2012 and Pirates are due to begin their campaign at home to Belle Vue tomorrow (7.30pm).

Poole have won the past three Knockout Cups and the tie with the Aces is a repeat of the 2011 final.

Promoter Ford told the Daily Echo: “It would be second only to the league so it’s the equivalent of football’s FA Cup.

“It’s a very important trophy for anyone to win. It’s great it has come back and let’s hope it is a success and that it becomes an annual event.

“I think the majority of people are happy to see it return.

“You need to keep people entertained. If it becomes a part-time sport I think that’s a huge problem so I’m happy to see the Knockout Cup back.

“Let’s hope the lads can get together and do something very special, home and away, against a powerful-looking Belle Vue team.”

Pirates: (from) Krzysztof Kasprzak, Jack Holder, Brady Kurtz, Lewis Kerr, Hans Andersen, Nicolai Klindt, James Shanes.

Belle Vue: (from) Max Fricke, Steve Worrall, Kenneth Bjerre, Justin Sedgmen, Craig Cook, Dan Bewley, Jack Smith.