Lyle New Wildcats Coach For 2015-16

All change at the head of the Wildcats

Ryan AldridgeSwindon Wildcats can exclusively reveal that head coach Ryan Aldridge [pictured right], is to step down from his position with the Wildcats at the end of the season.


Tophat Entertainments sponsored netminder Stevie Lyle will pick up the reigns from the end of the season after agreeing to remain at the club for a further year as player-coach, ending speculation that he could be ready to hang up his skates.


Wildcat’s General Manager Steve Nell said:  “We had discussed with Ryan about the possibility of him taking a position within the OHA UK organisation and now is the right time.  I spoke to Stevie [Lyle] about the upcoming vacancy and when he said he would be interested I had no hesitation in offering him the opportunity.  He’s someone we really wanted to keep here.


“His experience as a player along with the clubs he’s played during his career will hopefully mean that he will be able to recruit a solid hockey team and I’m sure he’ll be a good coach.”  .


Meanwhile, speaking about how the opportunity arose, Lyle said: “I’d already been talking to Steve [Nell] and Ryan [Aldridge] about coming back as a player next season and they asked me if I’d be interested in taking on the coach’s role and it seemed a great opportunity.


“Swindon is a great, upcoming club that’s heading in the right direction and even during the time I’ve been here, I’ve seen it making massive strides forward so it’s good to know that I will be part of its future.”


Having made 90 appearances in the Wildcats net over the last two seasons, the player was quick to state that until he takes charge, his attention remains very much on playing in the clubs final ten EPIHL games and then the play offs, and concluded:  “I’m excited about the new challenge and I’ve got ideas about how I will run things in terms of the bench and coaching and I’ve discussed these with Steve and Ryan and they’re both happy with my plans.

"Now I have to start learning to combine the roles of player and coach.

"With Ryan still at the helm to the end of this season I can start putting together my team for next year while remaining fully focused on-ice.“


Aldridge, who is to take up a head coach’s role at the Swindon based Okanagan Hockey Academy said:  “I was offered a coaching position with the OHA last year, but it was something I couldn’t really make my mind up about and I wasn’t prepared to leave the Wildcats at that point in my life.”


“I’ve had a great time coaching the Wildcats and seeing the club grow and the team improve year on year. It has been a hard decision to make but I feel the Wildcats will be in good hands with Stevie taking over and I’m keen to move to the OHA and help that organisation grow as well.” 


On behalf of the Swindon Wildcats Steve Nell added: “We would like to thank Ryan for the tremendous amount of hard work he has put into the club and his job over the years, he has been a massive part of the club’s growth.


"We wish him well in his new role which we know he will be successful in.”

The Wildcats take on the MK Lightning at the Swindon Ice Arena on Wednesday [February, 18th 2015] in our latest Kids Go FREE promotion.


Face off is at 7:45pm and you can buy tickets online in advance or by calling the box office on 01793 886 857.