SWINDON Wildcats player-coach Aaron Nell reflected on another strong season at the Link Centre.

In a season shortened by coronavirus, Cats came up second placed in the first season of the NIHL’s newly established National Division, on the back of last year’s Southern Championship win.

They were also edged out of the National Cup on penalty shots after losing a three-goal advantage in an almighty tussle against Telford Tigers, the side that would ultimately pip Swindon to the league title as well.

And Nell looks forward to getting back out in front of the home crowd for more of the same next term.

“The way our whole season went this year, we had great fan support and a great atmosphere at the Link this season,” Nell said.

“The games we did lose, especially at home, were really good games and we gave our all.

“There were a lot of good things happening at the Link Centre this year.

“Sadly we couldn’t end the season, but I hope everyone has a great summer – fans, sponsors and all the people involved in the club.

“Hopefully this virus can clear, we all look after ourselves and be ready for next season.”

There was, however, some disappointment at narrowly missing silverware on two counts and not getting the chance to compete in the play-offs.

“Overall I think it was a good season, but frustrating,” Nell said. “We put ourselves in good spots but we didn’t quite, in the key games, get over the line.

“I think it was disappointing not to go through in the cup in the position we were in.

“Then in the league, losing the games we did to Telford was the difference in the season.”

He added: “We had a great start to the year I thought. We put on a ten-game winning streak and were playing some really good hockey.

“After that we could never really get going again. We had a good January and then February was a tough month.

“It was frustrating that we didn’t get more out of the season. We were looking forward to starting the play-offs, but sadly we couldn’t.”

Wildcats have already re-signed a number of their current squad for next season, including Renny Marr, Tyler Plews and veteran Neil Liddiard.

But in the current climate, recruitment is not the easiest task for Nell to contemplate.

“It’s a very difficult situation right now, a lot of things are on hold,” Nell said.

“The first thing we wanted to do was sort out our players from this season, then make sure everything was okay from the end of the year standpoint.

“Like everyone we’re just waiting to see what’s going to happen over the next two or three months.”

On the decision to end the season early, Nell added: “The safety of the players, fans and everyone is more important right now.

“I’m sure every supporter would still want to be going, but there are more important things in the world.”