MATT Ford snapped up Swedish star Linus Sundstrom and then admitted rival promoters had voiced their admiration for his "power-packed" Pirates side.

Poole boss Ford completed a lengthy pursuit of Sundstrom after the Polish authorities lifted the controversial three-league rule and the 27-year-old's Ekstraliga club, Gorzow, gave the move the green light.

Sundstrom's arrival follows the signings of Brady Kurtz, Josh Grajczonek, Chris Holder, Kacper Woryna and Mateusz Szczepaniak, leading Ford to believe that with one rider left to recruit, he has his strongest team in four years.

He told the Daily Echo: "I made my feelings clear from day one that I wanted Linus in the team this year and he is a very welcome addition. His arrival has gone down incredibly well and that doesn't shock me.

"One or two other promoters have spoken to me and said we are a power-packed team and I believe that to be the case. It's just what I wanted it to be.

"I genuinely feel it's the strongest team we've had since 2014, when we brought in the likes of Vaclav Milik. I'm fully expecting this team to push for all the honours during the course of the season."

Asked if he had the best line-up on paper, Ford said: "Potentially, yes, but that means nothing because we were everyone's favourites to win last year.

"The team underperformed, in particular Krzysztof Kasprzak who didn't get going as he should have done. Kyle Newman was below par and Nicolai Klindt suffered an injury and they were the catalysts to our season. Sadly, it didn't really happen.

"We have made changes which I felt needed to be made. Of course, there is sadness when someone who has been very loyal, Hans Andersen, is not part of the team and I hope the likes of Jack Holder and Nicolai will play a part in the club's future.

"We are judged on our results each year and I feel the team we are putting together is exciting people. I can tell by the season ticket applications that people's thoughts are the same as mine.

"There's a real buzz about the club with the 70th anniversary and the change in our social media approach and off-track presence, which is immensely better than it was previously."

Sundstrom, who comes in on a 7.22 average, has not ridden in Britain since 2013.

Injury curtailed his third straight season at Peterborough before he was signed by Coventry to replace Krzysztof Kasprzak for their final meeting of the Elite League campaign.

Ford added: "I'm fully expecting Linus to do very well.

"He is due to come to Britain next week to have a chat with me and to sort out where he and his mechanic will be staying and where his workshop will be.

"We hope to catch up with a few sponsors as well."

Pirates 2018: Brady Kurtz 8.08, Josh Grajczonek 7.34, Linus Sundstrom 7.22, Chris Holder 7.16, Kacper Woryna 4.65, Mateusz Szczepaniak 4.54.