FREDDIE Eriksson has admitted he didn't really want to ride in Britain this year because he lost too much money when Oxford closed down midway through the 2007 season.

The experienced Swede told of his devastation when the shutters were put up at Cowley and revealed that the experience had left him totally downbeat about a return to the Elite League.

Eriksson had already turned down approaches from other British clubs before Pirates chief Matt Ford contacted him last week.

But once Ford made contact, the 26-year-old rider felt the Dorset club's offer for him to join at reserve was too good to refuse.

Eriksson, speaking exclusively to the Echo from his home near Stockholm, said: "I'm delighted to have signed for Poole and it feels great because they are a good club.

"It gives me an opportunity to get back to England.

"To tell you the truth, I wasn't too happy about going back to Britain. I really didn't want to do it after Oxford closed and I didn't get paid last year.

"I had a few offers from other clubs and I think they are a bit disappointed with me now because I said no when they called me up.

"However, Matt phoned me and when we spoke he persuaded me to come.

"I know Poole are a good well run club and that they have lots of fans. That is the reason why I decided to take this chance."

Eriksson, who averaged about 5.50 for the Cheetahs last year, added: "Matt was really honest with me when I told him about the financial problems I had last year, and he said I will sort it out, no problem.

"Because of that I felt they really wanted me to come so then I didn't want to say no.

"Now I can't wait to race for the Pirates.

"I will probably come over a couple of days before press and practice on March 5, although I'm not sure what date at the moment.

"I'll be bringing my Swedish bike and will build up a third one because the club (Poole) have supplied me with one.

"I will start the season with that and see how it goes."

Eriksson continued: "I think I can definitely match the 5.50 figure I got for Oxford because Poole is a good home track."

  • Poole's Rider Equipment Fund organisation stage a Pirates video night at Poole Stadium on Wednesday, January 16.

The event, starting at 7.30pm, takes place in the West Stand and features 2007 action and "blasts from the past".

Admission is £3 (REF members) and £4 (non-members) payable on the door.