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Poole Pirates star seals Swindon switch

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Poole Pirates’ Speedway star Darcy Ward has completed a loan move to Elite League rivals Swindon Robins.

But Pirates boss Neil Middleditch has admitted that the decision from the Australian could destroy the domestic bliss at Blunsdon following the Aussies ten month ban from Speedway.

The reasons for Ward’s decision to leave the south coast is due to Pirates promoter Matt Ford, who, after the Australian failed an alcohol test ahead of last year’s Latvian Grand Prix, is unwilling to draft him in his team.

Middleditch too has shared his concerns over the riders recent attitude, and he told the Daily Echo;

“I did speak with Darcy made it clear I wouldn’t want to go into battle with him in the play-offs. It would be ludicrous really but all I could do was let him know my opinion and I did.

“He is his own man. Leicester was never an option because they ride on a Saturday and he has never liked riding at Lakeside.

“Life is going to be different once he starts riding again, that’s for sure and it will be difficult seeing a set of Swindon kevlars hung up with my laundry!”

And while the 23 year old has made his decision, Middleditch admitted that he can’t blame the youngster in his choices.

“I fully understand he has to earn a living but I do feel like it’s a kick in the teeth because Poole have stood by him through thick and thin,” added Middleditch.

“I feel disappointed because he could make a difference for Swindon at our expense. I don’t want to blame Darcy, he needs to ride but it is so difficult to take and I cannot pretend I am happy about it.

“You can’t knock Swindon either, they want to do everything in their power to make the play-offs and I am not disappointed in Darcy himself, more at how things have turned out.

“The way loan arrangements work is one of speedway’s funny rules that people outside the sport cannot understand. It will be strange but it is just one of those situations and I just hope it doesn’t come back to haunt us in the play-offs.”

Despite his disappointment, Middleditch defended Ford’s decision not to change the side.

“I think Matt did the right thing. You never want to break up a winning combination and the cost of two riders would probably have made us weaker,” said Middleditch.

“As good as Darcy is, he is not two riders and the boys have got us to where we are. While there may be question marks over the form of some of them, we will attend to that if and when the time comes.”

Darcy Ward Swindon Robins

About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He writes on the lower leagues of English football and Speedway in particular.

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