Brabon: "The partnership of Renny and Matt will be good"

With the season just over a fortnight away, we thought it would be a good time to get to know one of the new members of the Wildcats you may not know much about. With the new player announcements we’ve made we can guarantee the first thing the Wildcats faithful would have done is log onto Elite Prospects. However, with the announcement of Dan Brabon as the new netminding coach there isn’t stats to look at or video to watch so Wildcats Sports Editor Ben Callaghan has found a bit more out about our new member of the coaching staff.


“I got my break around 7/8 years ago, when I was part of Cardiff’s NIHL set up helping my brother [Mike Brabon, Netminding coach for the Cardiff Fire and ex Wildcat]. He would go to Pittsburgh for a few weeks every summer and we’d go through things he’d learnt as well as working to reinforce them through the season” Dan said, when asked how he got into coaching netminders.


“From there on I had the chance to become the Cardiff Junior Devils Lead Goalie Coach and have worked with all age groups and abilities. Through the work with the Juniors, I began speaking to Ben Bowns [Cardiff Devils and GB International], when Bowns joined Cardiff he wanted to give back to the juniors and he regularly attended junior sessions. We built a programme together and when Ben won the Challenge Cup with the Devils in 2015 there was no going back for either of us, and we’ve been working together ever since.


With the arrivals of Renny Marr and Matt Smital between the pipes for the Wildcats this season bringing Dan in will be pivotal for the development of their futures as well as their time with the Wildcats.


“I’m not here to re-invent anyone’s game and I’d like to think the guys I’ve worked with the in the past will back that up. Renny and Matt are successful already because of what they do, that’s why they’ve earned their contracts in Swindon. I’m here to build on their foundations and skill sets and to support them taking their next step in development through tweaking and refining what they already do.


Most importantly I’m here to be a sounding board, to work through the good games and the bad games and ensure we learn from them both. I don’t think you can underestimate that – having someone to share experiences and situations and then tackling them”.


Through his involvement with Cardiff, Dan could see first-hand the ability of Renny Marr, and is looking forward to working with both him and Matt Smital.

“Whilst I was in Cardiff I watched video of Renny, but I also saw him play. I was very impressed with what I saw. He has a good technical base to work with and it’s great to see him pushing himself to be a starter next season. I think the partnership of Renny and Matt will be good and I look forward to working with them both and help them both start their journeys to being top level British goalies.”

Photo of Renny Marr by Scott Wiggins