The eighties were to change things slightly. 9th place in both 1980 and 1981 before the lowest ebb in the Poole history was about to dawn. Just three wins and three draws were all the Pirates were able to earn in 1982 and that left them clinching the wooden spoon. A somewhat better performance the following year when 1980 World Champion Michael Lee linked up with the Pirates, saw them elevate to 13th. That season (1983) they discovered future World Champion Sam Ermolenko and it was these two riders that led the way in 1984 for the Pirates, in what was to be the Dorset club's final year in the British league, although no league placing improvement came about.


Financial problems hit the Pirates hard that year and were forced into liquidation, but for the townsfolk of Poole a saviour was on the horizon in the guise of Betterment (Leisure) - under the direction of Mervyn Stewkesbury and Peter Ansell. They uprooted from Weymouth to take over the licence at Wimborne Road and it proved to be an inspired move for that promotional team. Runners-up to Ellesmere Port by a solitary point in the National League in their first season at Wimborne Road gave them a taste for success. The title was conceded the following season (1986) to Eastbourne and by their standards 1987 was a bitter failure with the Pirates faltering into 8th place. An influx of promising young Australian riders were preparing to ply their trade on these shores and Poole's team manager was the influential Australian team manager Neil Street who had been keeping a close eye on his country's proteges. This was to be the recipe for future success.


In 1988 a young rookie Craig Boyce was introduced to the Poole fans, as too were Tony Langdon and his brother Steve. Gary Allan, a New Zealander was also captured and Poole rapidly rose to runners-up spot again in 1988. But valuable experience was gained that year and with the introduction of inspirational club captain Alun Rossiter in 1989 Poole swept all aside and took the 1989 National League title.

Pirates Track shop

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