Season Launch Success for Swindon’s Ice Hockey Team


Bespoke Guardians Swindon Wildcats hosted their annual season launch event over the bank holiday weekend and it was a resounding success.

Over 80 sponsors attended the press conference along with support from a selection of local media partners before the players took to the ice and the 22/23 squad was introduced to the fans! Swindon Wildcats had a successful season last year after securing the Autumn Cup, however this season they’ll be fighting for trophies at the end of the season!

The Bespoke Guardians Swindon Wildcats announced a lot of changes during their Launch Day including more entertainment and hot food during games nights! Fans were also invited to sample some free pizza that will be sold on game nights upon the 1st floor concourse. From Friday’s game they will be able to pre-order pizzas straight to their seat.

When asked about the event, Sally Price, Wildcats Commercial Manager told us.

"We had such a fantastic turnout for our pre-season launch event on Sunday. That was by far the largest crowd we've had for the press shoot on record with over 80 sponsors turning up to see their 22/23 team and to hear from head coach Aaron Nell and supporters club chairman Paul Norbury."

"The questions were naturally flowing to the top table and the players looked happy to be back. Then the fans turned up in the hundreds to watch our team on the ice for the first time in their new kits, you could just hear from the atmosphere the pure excitement to have hockey back for the new season!"

"We ended a very successful launch day with a BBQ and the opportunity to socialise with the players over at our local pub, the Harvey. I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who came along and all that were involved in making the day so enjoyable. Roll on Hockey Season!"

Swindon Wildcats press conference

Swindon Wildcats are now preparing for their first match of the season on Friday as they take on new rivals Bristol Pitbulls. General Manager & Head Coach Aaron Nell is expecting Bristol to be the clubs hardest-hitting rivalry to date. For more on this, read the Q&A for the club’s press conference below.

Aaron Nell, GM & Head Coach - Q&A

Q: Are you excited to get back on the ice?

A: Yes absolutely! We are going to try and change some things, the boys are going to have a lot of work to do, we want to be faster, we’ve got new players in, and Eddie has gone from forward to defence.

Q: What was your thoughts behind moving Eddie?

A: Eddie wanted to go into D (defence) for a very long time. He’s excited to make the move and he’s been playing D all summer in practice, and I think he’ll perform very well!

Q: I just wanted to say thank you for everything you’ve done for the club.

A: Thank you very much. We couldn’t be here without our sponsors and our fans. We absolutely love it, this is my job, but it doesn’t feel like work, I love it every day.

Q: Looking at the current signings across the league, do you think the teams will be as good as they look on paper?

A: I think Milton Keynes are going to be very good this year, I think they’ll be the team to beat, I think they’re the favourites and they’ve got a very good team.

Q: It’s great to see a Canadian in the line-up, are you happy with signing Colby Tower?

A: It’s great we’re allowed to get Canadians in now, it’s opened a new channel to bring players in, there’s quite a few teams in the league signing Canadians now. He’s young and he’s hungry so we’re really looking forward to seeing how he performs.

Q: Are you still looking to recruit players?

A: We’re very happy with the team with have. I think there’s a great opportunity for the younger players such as Goodchild and Sayers to step up. We’re always ready for a new player if someone is available and it fits the business, but right now we’re very happy with the squad.

Swindon Wildcats player

Q: Are you looking forward to playing Bristol?

A: We’ve got good rivalries with Bees and Basingstoke, but I think Bristol will be our biggest one. It’s good that they had a great season last year, I think it shocked everyone at how they performed. We are really looking forward to it and hope the games against them are really entertaining for the fans.

Q: What does a successful season look like to you, Aaron?

A: We want to win, that’s what we’re built to do. We’ve all been working hard over the summer to be there at the end of the season fighting for trophies!

Q: Why did you bring Loris Back?

A: He loves playing and he was desperate to be back in Swindon, he had a great season in Bristol last year and it’s important he knows his role this season.

Paul Norbury, Supporters Club Chairman Q&A

Q: What’s the benefit of joining the Supporters Club?

A: The supporters club allows members to come together, it helps support the club with fund raising for the away coaches and helps the fans meet the players. There’s a lot of value in it.

Q: What is the new ‘Scratch Club’ you announced this week?

A: Swindon Wildcats’ mascot Scratch was a phenomenon last year and everyone loved him, so we’ve expanded our junior membership to elevate it. We’re launching Scratch Club and Scratch will be involved in managing his club. I know the club are doing more this year to engage further with the fan base.

Photography Credit: KLM Photography