EXPERIENCED Swede Freddie Eriksson has been brought in to "stabilise" Pirates' 2008 line-up.

The 26-year-old, who rode for Oxford last term, fits into Poole Castle Cover's team on a 3.06 average.

Eriksson, who has also ridden for King's Lynn and Ipswich since 2001, arrives at Wimborne Road on loan.

The former Swedish Under-21 champion completes the Dorset club's line up and partners Zibi Suchecki at reserve.

Pirates chief Matt Ford said: "As soon as it was deemed Craig Watson was unable to come to Poole, there was only one real alternative and that was Freddie.

"He is on a very low average of 3.06 which is clearly a snip.

"Freddie has experience of all the Elite League tracks and as a number seven will put an end to the Achilles Heel we have suffered in that department over the past three or four years.

"I fully believe having Freddie come in to support Zibi gives us one of the best reserve pairings in the league.

"Due to the points limit reduction, everyone has been scratching around for a three-point rider who can genuinely do their job and not just fill a gap.

"I believe we have got that man."

Ford added: "I have spoken to Freddie on two occasions in the past about coming and doing a job for us, the last one being in 2006, and each time he has reluctantly declined.

"But this time we have been lucky and secured his services.

"I don't want to go down the path of saying what he can achieve at Poole. I just want him to come in and stabilise the team.

"He gives us exactly the same as Craig would have given us.

"It means in every heat that teams come out against Poole, they will have to beat two riders both capable of scoring points, whereas probably in the past we have found it hard to get two reserves who were both scoring.

"Now we truly have a team from one-to-seven with strength in depth."

Eriksson joins Bjarne Pedersen (9.05), Davey Watt (8.06), Chris Holder (5.05), Karol Zabik (5.00), Adam Skornicki (4.89) and Suchecki (3.65) in Pirates' all-foreign 38.76 line-up.

The Swede's contract is owned by the BSPA after Oxford went into administration in 2007.

As their results were expunged, his average is his 2006 figure.

Watson, meanwhile, is in the running for a starting berth after Ford confirmed one Elite and two Premier clubs had contacted him to speak to the Australian.

  • Neil Middleditch received a marvellous 51st birthday present when he was re-appointed Team Great Britain manager yesterday.

It will be the eighth successive year the Poole boss has carried out the job, and he will be hoping to lead GB to World Cup victory at Vojens, Denmark, in July.