Last Sunday saw the return of the Swindon Wildcats annual Season Launch. The day kicked off with the press and sponsor conference with Managing Director Steve Nell, Head Coach Aaron Nell and Swindon Wildcats Supporters Club Chairman Paul Norbury all facing questions from sponsors and press alike. This comes before their first match on Saturday, with their first Challange match facing off against Bracknell Bees at 6.15pm.
After facing questions regarding summer recruitment, new challenges for the new national league and what he thought the key to success was this year; the guests were then introduced to the class of 2019/20. The very popular new jerseys were on show for the first time as Chris Jones led the team out in number order in front of the invited guests.
The cheers kept coming when the return of Tomasz Malasinski was bought to life with the Polish forward stepped into the room wearing his famous #89 jersey, before the Wildcats had one final surprise up their sleeve. Following the injury to Tyler Vankleef, Head Coach Aaron Nell wasted no time in securing the services of Jan Kostal on a temporary basis until the Canadian forward is back to full fitness.
After the conference, the sponsors met their players and the team mingled with guests before heading down to the locker-room to get ready to hit the ice in front of the fans and get their official 19/20 photos taken.
Similarly, to the press conference, the reactions from the crowd when the player came out in number order was clear to see. The balcony was perhaps the fullest it’s been in many seasons and the crowd cheered for each and every player stepping foot on the Better Link Centre ice.
The training session was equally as popular with the boys visibly enjoying the reactions from the crowd with every cheer with each goal or save as Aaron Nell, Robbie Pamphilon and Lee Richardson put the team through their paces. At the end of the session a mini shootout competition treated the fans to some skills and thrills before the team saluted the stands and headed back to get changed.
The final event was the Swindon Wildcats Supporters Club BBQ which they had even managed to book the weather for! A packed garden at the Harvey were able to mingle once more with their favourite players and grab the photos they had been waiting to take!
As the day came to a close, the focus now switches to the pre-season schedule which sees them take on the Bracknell Bees this coming Saturday before travelling down the M4 to Berkshire in the return fixture on Sunday.