Smith: "Iím really excited to see where the league goes this year"

As we get ever closer to the start of the season, the players are beginning to filter back into their pre-season routines and the fans are beginning to clear out their calendars for the winter weekends.

Kyle Smith is approaching his second season and its one where he wants to improve personally and as a team following his debut season as a Swindon Wildcat forward.

“It was a massive step up to the EPL last year from the junior leagues, there were bigger players, the puck moves quicker you must think on your feet more and it was completely different to playing junior hockey. This season, I must work as hard as last year once more, I also want to improve my fitness and score more goals to help contribute to the team.” The young forward said.

The coming season sees old favourites like Basingstoke and Bracknell alongside some new challenged with the likes of Invicta, Streatham and London all in the league, and Kyle sees this as a positive challenge for a relatively young Cats side.

I’m really excited to see where the league goes this year and to see how it comes along. Having less imports may make it more competitive and it should even it out a lot more this year. I think we’ve got a strong team. We’ve got a lot of young energy players this year, it will be different to last year but I think we will be a very strong team.”

With two experienced imports in the line-up, Max Birbraer [sponsored by Neil & Vicky Davidson] and captain Jan Kostal [sponsored by TCL] will be pivotal in leading the way for the young Cats to learn and grow from.

“I can learn so much from the likes of Jan and Max, Jan is our leader he is our captain and he’s such a strong guy in the dressing room and on top of all that, is a great hockey player. Max is a big hitter and plays physical just like I do and it’s good to watch what they do and to make me become a better hockey player”.

Not forgetting, with Bracknell lined up on the opening challenge weekend, Kyle believes a fresh look to the Bees will pose a different challenge to that of previous leagues and will help challenge the Wildcats ready for a tough league campaign.

“The challenge games will be different, Bracknell are going to be different and they’re going to step up their game. We’re going to have to work hard every night to compete and no games will be easy.”