BOSS Matt Ford revealed how a recommendation from Pirates legend Bjarne Pedersen had convinced him to sign Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen.

The 24-year-old will line up at reserve alongside Nico Covatti when Poole launch the defence of their SGB Premiership crown next year.

Busk Jakobsen comes in on a 4.39 average, based on his Championship rating for Berwick in the wake of the demise of his other British club this year, Rye House.

And Ford explained how the backing of Pedersen, a three-time Elite League winner in the skull and crossbones, had helped to seal the deal.

Ford told the Daily Echo: “Nikolaj really is a rider who is improving. When I spoke to Bjarne, he tipped Nikolaj to have a very good career and to be a dominant force for Denmark in the future.

“That kind of recommendation certainly helps greatly. He was a wanted rider and we had to act quickly to secure his services.

“He rode for Rye House this year but of course they were annulled, which meant their figures were expunged.

“That certainly worked against us with Chris Harris, whose average went from little more than seven to 7.78, which changed things dramatically.

“But where that went against us, with Nikolaj, it worked very much for us.

“He was achieving close to a six-point average with Rye House last season and then went on to guest ride for Leicester in particular towards the end of the season, where he was scoring substantial points.

“He is being mentored worldwide by David Howe, who has 20 years of British speedway experience and is very easy to get on with.

“I think that’s a huge benefit to have that experience behind him, in terms of track set-ups and knowing how to take the next step.

“So that also came into my consideration. He is definitely a rider on the verge of greater things.”

An asset of the British Speedway Promoters’ Association, Busk Jakobsen will double up with Berwick in 2019.

Ford anticipates the former King’s Lynn racer and Covatti will move up into the main body of the septet.

He said: “I would expect both of them to play a role in the main team and, at some point, drop back down to reserve, because in the team we are building, there are one or two other guys who could fit that same role.

“These people could spend a small amount of time at reserve and we have seen how that benefits riders. You look at Nicolai Klindt and the improvements he has made in the past 18 months – it does boost people’s confidence.

“Those two guys will be up there with the best reserves at the start of the season. They are two proven scorers in our league and will give us a power-packed reserve pairing.”

Ford has 18.97 points with which to recruit his remaining three riders.

Pirates 2019: Jack Holder (7.39), Brady Kurtz (7.05), Nico Covatti (4.70), Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen (4.39).