Ford thought Darcy was Panthers-bound

PUBLISHED: 14:32 24 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:38 04 March 2010

POOLE Pirates star Chris Holder admits club owner Matt Ford was expecting Australian sensation Darcy Ward to join Peterborough, until he persuaded his fellow countryman to choose Wimborne Road.

POOLE Pirates star Chris Holder admits club owner Matt Ford was expecting Australian sensation Darcy Ward to join Peterborough, until he persuaded his fellow countryman to choose Wimborne Road.

The Dorset side signed Ward on a full transfer from Premier League champions King's Lynn for a club record fee, which exceeds the £28,000 they paid for three-time world champion Jason Crump in late 2006.

Stars co-promoter Jonathan Chapman admitted every Elite League club was interested in the World Under-21 champion, who moves into the top division on a ridiculously low 4.56 average.

Peterborough were tipped as early favourites in the scramble to secure the 17-year-old's signature. But Grand Prix qualifier Holder says the rider did not need a lot of convincing to choose Pirates over Panthers.

Holder, who takes on Ward in the Australian Championship next month, said: “I was told Darcy was pretty certain he was coming up to the Elite League because he was doing a pretty good job in the Premier.

“He was doing Poland in the Ekstraliga and he didn't really need the extra year to sort himself out.

“There were a lot of rumours that he was heading to Peterborough and I was on to him asking him. He said they spoke to him but they never had any intentions.

“So I asked him whether he would be interested in coming to Poole because I had always planned on being there next year.

“He was keen as you like, so I just told Matt that he was interested in coming and he was pretty shocked. He thought Darcy was a done deal at Peterborough.”

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