FORD: NUMBERS GAME FORCED HARRIS EXIT
Poole boss Matt Ford admits a lofty average saw Chris Harris frozen out of his 2019 plans after snapping up Nicolas Covatti.
05 / 12 / 2018, 20:15
Poole boss Matt Ford admits a lofty average saw Chris Harris frozen out of his 2019 plans after snapping up Nicolas Covatti on a bargain 4.70 figure.
The Dorset side kicked off their team building by installing the Italian international at reserve. He makes the move to Wimborne Road with his 2018 side Somerset dropping down to the Championship.
The deal is a strong start to Pirates’ plans for defending their SGB Premiership crown, but Harris’ departure to rivals Peterborough raised a few eyebrows.
With what I have already committed to, we couldn’t fit him in. But I hope our time with Chris will come again in the future.
Ford insists he was unable to accommodate the Cornishman on a 7.78 average – the figure he registered after his Rye House scores were removed following Rockets’ mid-season closure.
He said: “We have to make changes every year because of team-building points and it’s almost inevitable that someone’s favourite has to leave because of that.
“It was a real shame that we couldn’t fit Chris in because he was sensational for us during the last few months of the season.
“But he is a victim of averages, sadly. He was nailed on to come back next season until the Rye House figures were expunged and taken off of his average.
“That took Chris from an average just above seven to an average of just below eight and with what I have already committed to, we couldn’t fit him in. But I hope our time with Chris will come again in the future.”
Despite losing Harris, Pirates gain Covatti – a rider who showed huge potential with the Rebels last season, powering to 11 paid 14 at Wimborne Road in the play-off semi-final, second leg.
Covatti was two laps away from qualifying for SGP 2015 at the 2014 GP Challenge in Lonigo when a race was halted with him holding a lead, which would have secured a top-three finish. He was unable to seal the points he needed in the re-run.
Ford is backing the Argentinean-born ace to deliver on his potential at reserve for Poole.
He said: “Nico rode against us last season on several occasions and was a real thorn in our side. With Somerset not competing in the Premiership next year, he was available.
“We were ahead of the game on Nico as I had sounded him out about coming to Poole and I am pleased to say he was keen and it was a simple deal to do.
“It was only a year or two ago that he was close to qualifying for the Grand Prix so he clearly has an immense amount of talent.
“Coming in on a 4.70 average also makes him very attractive from a team-building perspective. He’ll start the season at reserve but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he was pushing for a higher berth.”