Poole Pirates: Pawlicki to miss playoff finals after shoulder injury
Poole Pirates head into the Elite League playoff finals without teenage star Piotr Pawlicki.
The 17-year-old has been ruled out for the rest of the season after injuring his shoulder while riding in the Swedish play-off final this week.
Poole take on the Swindon Robins in the first leg of the playoff final on Monday, and will have to rely on a team performance if they are to retain their title.
Pirates boss Matt Ford said: "I cannot begin to describe just what a major blow this is to us. We have all seen what a huge difference he has made to the side since joining us.
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"It is just one of those things that happens in speedway. The sport has a way of hitting you hard when you don't need it and this is one of those very hard hits.
"I have said it before, and I will say it again, but it is now going to be even more critical for our tailenders to become heroes in both legs of the final.
"Of course, we will attempt to rise above the disappointment and give it our very best against Swindon.
"We have riders more than capable of weighing in with some big scores. It's a team game and not all about one person. Yes it makes the task that much harder but that will make it even more pleasurable in a way if we do pull it off."
Ford and Poole team manager Neil Middleditch will be in Torun, Poland this evening to support Pirates skipper Chris Holder in the final round of the 2012 Grand Prix series. Holder holds a two-point lead over former world champion Nicki Pedersen.