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Defenceman Fojtik makes short-term Wildcats switch
SWINDON Wildcats have drafted in 2012/13 defenceman of the year Tomas Fojtik on a temporary basis in a bid to cover their raft of absences.
The defenceman joined Slough in the summer but has been without a club since being released by the Jets at the end of October.
Wildcats are without import forward Henri Sandvik due to concussion for this weekend’s home and away clashes with Manchester and Sheffield respectively, while Ollie Betteridge, Floyd Taylor and Sam Godfrey are all playing for Great Britain Under-20s at the World Championship (Division 1B) in Dumfries.
That state of affairs prompted Swindon head coach Ryan Aldridge to swoop for giant D-man Fojtik, who lives and works in Swindon, in an effort to provide some sort of cover.
There is a possibility that Aldridge himself could return to the line-up, but that is an eventuality that the Link Centre chief is hoping to avoid.
“Missing our three GB guys and losing an import like Henri, we’re just too short on numbers and we need bodies in the line-up,” said Aldridge.
“We’re not scoring enough goals at the moment but bringing Tomas in will enable our D to get better. Having him available to us is a luxury.”
Depending on the extent of Sandvik’s injury, Fojtik could also play in next Saturday’s home game against Basingstoke - the last fixture before Christmas - but the situation will be assessed as it develops.
On the ice this weekend, Wildcats are in serious need of points following defeat to Sheffield at the Link Centre last Saturday, leaving them on the brink of dropping out of the EPL play-off spots.
Aldridge added: “We don’t want to be going into Christmas break on a downer. We are shortbenched but sometimes that can bring at team together.”
Meanwhile, Swindon’s GB Under-18s trio are all looking forward to turning out in Dumfries and are positive of success.
“We’re representing the country and it’s in Scotland so hopefully we’ll get a few British fans there,” said Betteridge.
“I think we should do really well if we play as a team and don’t get our heads down and play strong defensively, we’ll be fine.”
Godfrey said: “We’ve got a tough group but we had a training camp the other week in Scotland and I think we’re the most prepared out of all the years I’ve done GB.”
Taylor added: “This is my first year in the Under-20s so I’ve got to work my way up. It’s good to be in the GB programme, it makes it easier to get into the seniors in later life.”
The NIHL Wildcats face Peterborough Islanders and London Haringey Racers this weekend.
The Link Centre-development side suffered a 2-1 loss to Lee Valley Lions last Saturday and will be hoping to bounce back as soon as possible.
NIHL Wildcats are currently sixth in South 2 while Lee Valley are a point behind and two spots below in the table.
Peterborough are 10th in the standings.
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