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Ben Cook

Cook honoured by captaincy call as he returns to Poole Pirates in 2024

Poole Pirates star Ben Cook committed his future to the club for 2024, before describing it as an “honour” to be named captain at Wimborne Road.

The 26-year-old has become the first rider announced as part of the Poole septet for next season, going into his fourth campaign in the skull and crossbones.

Cowra-born Cook initially signed ahead of the season that never was in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He then made his Pirates bow at reserve during the 2021 campaign before moving his way into a heat leader berth last term.

The Aussie ace has helped the club seal two SGB Championship titles, two knockout cups and the inaugural BSN Series crown.

Speaking about his return, Cook told the club website: "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.

"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."

He 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 (Worrall) so I’ll be sure to give my all."

Promoter Danny Ford said: “We are absolutely delighted to be making Ben our first signing for 2024.

“Since coming into the team in 2021 it has been fantastic to see his development from reserve to second string and last season a stalwart heat leader and now, for 2024, I can confirm that he will also assume the responsibility of club captain, making him the ninth Australian to hold that position with the Pirates.

“Obviously, that is a role that brings its own pressures and responsibilities. Ben will be one of the more senior guys in the team and as a long-standing Pirate in the team, he is an ideal fit for the role.

“Ben is Poole through and through, you can see that in his involvement with the other riders in the pits each week and he is very popular among the supporters.

“He knows that he is going to have to take on those pressures associated with being captain but he is certainly willing to step into that role and this is just another step along the way to making him one of the outstanding riders in the Championship."

Cook will return to Poole on a 7.39 average, with the points limit for the second tier now set at 38, following last week’s annual promoters’ AGM.


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