MATT Ford handed Josh Grajczonek the Pirates captaincy before admitting his decision had been partly informed by superstition.

Grajczonek overcame competition from Brady Kurtz, Linus Sundstrom and Chris Holder for the job, which had been up for grabs following Hans Andersen's winter exit.

And Poole boss Ford is keen to see the 28-year-old Queenslander flourish in his new role.

Ford told the Daily Echo: "Josh has ridden for the Pirates on three separate occasions and in each of those years, we've won the league title.

"People can point to me being superstitious with things like this and they would be totally correct. I am and I do feel Josh is a lucky omen for us.

"He is an asset of ours who hasn't necessarily been given a fair crack because we've had riders who have taken the top positions in the team.

"I want to see what Josh is capable of if we give him more to do and put more pressure on his shoulders.

"He knows it's a big club and he is incredibly proud to take on the mantle. I hope he performs as admirably as our captains of the past."

Grajczonek, a former Somerset skipper, is due to race in Belle Vue's 90th anniversary meeting a week tomorrow.

He first rode for Pirates in 2013, starring in the Dorset club's play-off success after replacing Kozza Smith midway through the season.

Having completed a full transfer from Glasgow, Grajczonek was an unsung hero of the 2014 title-winning side, being cruelly denied the chance to ride in the play-offs due to a broken collarbone.

The Townsville-born racer returned for a four-meeting stint at the start of the following campaign, providing cover for compatriot Davey Watt.

Reflecting further on his captaincy decision, Ford said: "We could have gone with any of the four – Chris, Linus, Brady or Josh.

"I excluded Chris from my thoughts fairly quickly because I wanted him to enjoy his speedway and have less pressure on him.

"I really thought about giving it to Brady but I felt that as number one, he still had a lot on his plate.

"Linus captains both his teams in Sweden and had he ridden for the club before, he could have been given the nod.

"The truth is the harder I thought about it, the more it became clear that Josh was the right man to step into the breach."