Swindon nPower Wildcats head coach Peter Russell has wasted no time in starting his team building with the signature of three players for next season.
Confirmed as returning to the club are netminder Mike Brabon and forward Adam Brittle. Joining them will be exciting young centreman Matt Davies, currently on duty in Poland with the Great Britain team in Divison 1b of the Under 18 World Championships.
Adam Brittle, 21, is a former Gold Medal winner with the Great Britain Under 18s in 2004, signs up for his second full season, having debuted for the npower Wildcats in December 2005 when he joined mid-season from the Wightlink Raiders.
His continued hard work and committment has not gone unnoticed by coach Russell, as Brittle was named the deserving inaugural winner of the Dave Richardson Award for Best British player at the recent end of season awards evening. "Britsy is one of the best puck carriers in the league. He creates offense with his skills and is also very coachable defensively.
"Every team needs an Adam Brittle and the lad has showed a lot of commitment by wanting to be one of the first to put his name on our roster for next season. He is an excellent player and we are delighted that he's back on board for 07/08."
Welshman Brabon, 22, returns as the 'Cats starting netminder having joined in January 2007 from the now defunct Solihull Barons. In an impressive stint as backstop coming in as Russell's first appointment as Head Coach, Brabon instilled confidence in his teammates and the performances that saw him finish fourth in the League goaltending rankings have earned him the starter slot in the 07/08 Wildcats.
"Mike is one of the top young goalies in the country," said Russell. "He's still young – only 22 – and has played very consistently since joining us in at New Year.
"He is another guy that we're proud to have commit to us early, and there's a lot more to come from him next season."
Matthew Davies, pictured, is the first new face on the npower Wildcats roster for 07/08. Hull-born impressive young centreman Davies, 17, made his senior debut for the Kingston Jets of the English National League's Northern Conference in 2004, where he became a regular in the 05/06 season whilst still an Under-16's player.
This past season, Davies has been a significant part of the Solihull Barons offensive unit in the English Premier League, notching up 17 goals in a 35 point haul from 43 games to finish fourth in team scoring and leading British points scorer for the West Midlands outift.
Coach Russell is understandably overjoyed with his capture, saying Davies has "consistently been one of the top prospects in British ice hockey all the way through the junior ranks."
"I've known Matty since he was 12 years old and have coached him a few times in the National teams. He's an exciting player, full of energy with some slick skills – in a similar mould to Adam Brittle only five years younger.
"He wants to learn and we're confident that he's come to the right club to do so. He's a great signing for us and a sure-fire fan favourite for next year.