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Promoter Ford believes intense pressure produces diamonds at Poole Pirates
Danny Ford speaks to Total Guide to Dorset about the pressure of keeping up Poole Pirates' remarkable trophy record.
Promoter Danny Ford insisted the pressure of delivering for Poole Pirates on the biggest stage elevated his side to higher levels.
The Wimborne Road outfit look to add to their bulging trophy cabinet this week, as they go in search of a third successive SGB Championship crown.
Pirates head to Glasgow Tigers’ Ashfield headquarters for the league play-off final first leg on Sunday (6pm) before the second leg at home on Wednesday (7.30pm).
?? GRAND FINAL | POOLE vs GLASGOW— Poole Pirates Speedway (@poolespeedway) October 5, 2023
?? The one we've all been waiting for! Poole and Glasgow clash in a battle for the 2023 League title
?? Let's pack Poole Stadium and show our support for the Pirates!
??? TICKETS ON SALE ?? https://t.co/HDijJs3IR9#PiratePride pic.twitter.com/3sBmGTMqbH
Since dropping down to the second tier of British Speedway in 2020, Poole have won every major team trophy on offer to them.
That haul includes two league titles, two Knockout Cups and the BSN Series earlier this campaign. Ford’s side are still looking to add another league and cup to their collection before the end of the season.
Asked what it was like to try to keep that run going, the Poole promoter told Total Guide to Dorset: “I can’t even quite begin to explain the pressure. It’s really, really overwhelming at times.
“Ultimately, our supporters have experienced a very successful few years and we want to keep that going.
“It’s a great club. We have got such great supporters and sponsors and when our backs are against the wall, you definitely cannot write us off.
“We know that we can’t win everything forever but we are doing our best to do that. We had a clean sweep of team competitions the past couple of years and we are looking to do the same this year.
“There is a lot of pressure associated with it but I think just coming into a team like Poole improves riders.
“I think nine times out of 10 it lifts the riders up. We often see riders improve.
“I don’t know what it is about it, it just seems to really work. Particularly the past couple of years – we really seem to have built some great momentum moving into this league and a great feeling down at Wimborne Road.”
He added: “I won’t say the rider in question but earlier this season, when we came out on Good Friday in front of a bumper crowd, he said that was the most proud he has ever been in speedway.
“To walk out in front of thousands of people. Probably the biggest crowd in the league this season, with the skull and crossbones on his chest, it meant a lot to him. That was a rider who has been in British speedway for a long time.
“It carries something special with it – being a Pirate – I think that often gives us a psychological advantage as well.”
Glasgow progressed through their play-off group to meet Poole in the final, thanks to a heat-15 decider to seal an aggregate bonus point victory over Oxford Tigers.
The likes of former Pirates Chris Harris and Benjamin Basso have been a crucial part of the line-up for the Scottish outfit this season.
“Glasgow have strengthened up just before the play-offs by bringing in one of the best riders in British speedway (Vadim Tarasenko), which was a shrewd move, definitely,” added Ford.
Pirates will be back to full strength for the finale, with Anders Rowe returning after coming through concussion protocols.
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