Matt Ford insisted “it was never doubt” after confirming Brady Kurtz would line up for the Poole Pirates for a fourth successive season.

Ford has confirmed Kurtz as the Pirates’ second 2019 signing, the Australian joining Nico Covatti for the club’s SGB Premiership title defence.

Kurtz, though, will not race as the club’s number one in 2019, a role, according to Ford, he performed “ahead of his time” during last season’s dramatic championship win.

Ford said: “It was never in doubt that Brady would come back as he’s brilliant to deal with. He lives in Poole and doesn’t want to ride for anyone else.

“I think everyone knows what we get from Brady. However, last year there were a few people, who clearly know the sport better than I do, who were questioning Brady being in the team at all.

“Sadly he had to carry the mantle of the number one position in 2018 when really he should still be learning his trade.

“With Chris Holder not being able to ride last year as planned, it did put a lot of pressure on Brady so I’m pleased he won’t be starting the new season as number one.

“However, I firmly believe he can be pushing for that spot.”

Kurtz comes in on a 7.05 average which, alongside Covatti’s 4.70, takes up 11.75 of Ford’s 2019 42.5 team-building allocation.

The Pirates, meanwhile, are seeking a main sponsor for the 2019 campaign as they look to successfully defend their platinum season title.

Ford added: “Last season’s incredible achievement saw the club featured across more than 50 hours of live and playback TV on BT Sport, on top of the continuing fantastic coverage in the Daily Echo, Speedway Star and across BBC South television and radio.

“There are also other sponsorship opportunities up for grabs as one or two other long-term sponsors are sadly no longer going to be with us.”

Any businesses invested in joining the club as a sponsor for its 2019 title defence should contact Matt Ford via

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