HOLDER SHOCKED BY POOLE EXIT
Aussie racer Chris Holder insisted “I’ll always have a soft spot for Poole”, but was shocked “to get shown the door because of an average.”
The Sydneysider lines up against the Pirates for the first time in his career this season after signing for their SGB Premiership rivals King’s Lynn.
This was after Poole released the 2012 world champ, with club owner Matt Ford fearing his inflated 12.53 average would leave Pirates with a top-heavy team.
"I thought that as long as I was in Britain, I would probably be at Poole. Things change and that’s the way it is."
- Chris Holder
Holder admits he was stunned to be told his services weren’t required for 2017, admitting Ford broke the bad news via email.
He said: “It was a bit of a shock to get shown the door because of an average. I didn’t even get a chance to talk about it really. The writing was on the wall and that was it.
“I had a funny feeling after the first e-mail from Matt that it wasn’t looking good. I just kind of hoped it would turn around, but it didn’t.
“It was only e-mails I exchanged with Matt, not even a phone call. To be honest, I was pretty shocked after all the years I put in and what me and Darcy Ward built up for Poole.
“It feels a bit weird to not get a spot. I thought that as long as I was in Britain, I would probably be at Poole. Things change and that’s the way it is. There is not much I can do about it. I just have to keep on going.”
Despite being left out by Pirates after nine straight seasons at Wimborne Road, Holder says he has no hard feelings against Ford.
He said: “To be honest, I don’t think I have spoken to Matt since then. But I have a lot going on and he knows I have a lot going on off the bike. I haven’t really spoken to many people apart from those closest to me.
“I’m sure once the season gets going and things get underway, I’ll say ‘g’day’ and see him, no problem. I had some great times there – some of the best years of my career so far.
“I understand; it’s his business and he calls the shots, of course. But I thought we were pretty good mates and I’ve done a fair bit for the club too.
“They have given me a job, obviously. They gave me a start. But over the last nine years, I’ve put in a pretty good stint. I might have had one off-year out of the whole lot and I’ve saved them a lot of times with Darcy.
“That’s how it is. We’ll just roll with it and I’m sure this year will be cool. It’ll be something different. The change might do me good – who knows?”
Holder is one of just three SGP riders in a revamped SGB Premiership, so it seems incredible he could have been left out of a job, while many of his World Championship rivals shun British speedway.
With the 29-year-old keen to keep busy, he is glad King’s Lynn stepped up to offer him a deal.
He said: “I’m at King’s Lynn now, which is pretty sweet. I’m pretty stoked to have a ride, for one. And being there may be a long way from Poole, but it’s a great track. It has always been a good one for me. Hopefully I can go up there and do the same kind of thing.
“I want to do a bit of riding. I don’t have so many commitments off the bike anymore, so I can be as busy as I want. I’m looking forward to getting back into it. I’m just excited to get up there and race.
“It’s going to be super strange starting in a different race suit to a Poole one. But changing clubs is something that happens to a lot of people. I’ll just roll with it and once we get started, it will be all sweet.”
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