CHRIS Holder stressed he was happy the 'will he, won't he sign for Poole saga' is finally over after putting pen to paper for the club yesterday.

Ever since he became a Pirates asset late in the 2006 campaign, he has had to endure that same question quite literally scores of times a day from speedway fans and the press.

Holder, who wanted to ride a second season in the Premier League with Isle of Wight this year to gain more experience before stepping up to the top flight, quickly tired of the situation.

It was made worse when other Elite League clubs, believed to include Peterborough, tried enticing the Australian away from Wimborne Road in 2008.

That led some Poole fans, labelled "internet junkies" by angry Castle Cover Pirates chief Matt Ford, to question whether Holder really wanted to ride for the club.

But the World Under-21 runner-up said: "My plans were always to come here ever since I arrived in England (in 2006).

"There were a lot of rumours, but it was always going to be Poole for me, although I wasn't going to say anything until my contract was finalised.

"I'm happy to be here and just want to get started riding for Poole.

"I don't have to answer any more questions about what I'm doing next year, which is fantastic."

Holder, who will come into Poole's team on a 5.03 average if the current rules apply next season, added: "I can go home to Australia, have a good summer there and come back next year all fired up to do well for the Pirates.

"I'm not sure whether I will start at reserve or in the main body of the team, but to be in the main body of the team the whole season is my aim.

"I also want to win some silverware with the team. That would be awesome. I just want to have a successful year for Poole and, hopefully, be back here for the following year."

Ford, who admitted he had reached exasperation point about question marks over Holder's loyalty to Pirates, went on record earlier this month, saying he had a "gentleman's agreement" with the Aussie to ride for Poole in 2008.

The promoter had added: "The club have always enjoyed a professional rapport with Chris and his family.

"He comes from good stock, who have decent ethics. Quality family, quality rider."

When asked what he thought about those comments, Holder said: "It is good. It shows that Matt trusts me.

"I always wanted to come here, otherwise I wouldn't have been talking with them (Poole).

"I was always going to come here. It was just a matter of time."