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Nell aims to kick-start season at Wildcats
SNIPER Aaron Nell feels a return to Swindon Wildcats will help him rebuild his 2013/14 season after finding his chances limited at Elite League Sheffield.
The Great Britain forward made the move to the Steelers in the summer following a superb campaign with Wildcats in which he was second only to teammate Jonas Hoog in the EPL points-scoring charts with 115.
However, Nell’s ice time under Sheffield head coach Doug Christiansen has been less than he would wish and in addition to improving a tally of just four points in 33 appearances, the 24-year-old is keen to get more match minutes in his locker.
The former Link Centre skipper is hopeful that a two-way deal - completed yesterday - will prove in the interests of all parties as he looks to regain confidence and rack up goals and assists once more.
“It’s something we’ve been thinking about for a little while,” said Nell.
“We’ve got a lot of players in Sheffield and I’m down the pecking order, so I haven’t been getting that much ice time.
“(Gaining confidence) is one of the biggest reasons I’m coming back and I will help the boys as much as I can and make sure we get in the play-offs, but if Sheffield get into injury trouble then I will be there for them.
“We’ve had a tough year and been very inconsistent. I don’t think anyone’s happy about how we’ve been all year, me included.
“But it’s been a good experience and I’ve learned a lot of stuff, and being on the ice every day has helped me improve.”
Nell - whose father Steve is general manager at Wildcats - is set to make his ‘debut’ tonight when the Wildcats host Basingstoke in their first game in a fortnight, before journeying to Telford tomorrow.
The Link Centre side are hoping to launch a sustained play-off charge after an up-and-down opening to the campaign and Nell is keen to play his part.
“Swindon haven’t had the best first half to a season but they are close and hopefully I can help them get over the hump,” he said.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about Jan Kostal and obviously I know Jonas (Hoog) there as well.
“It will be nice to go back there and know I’m going to play a lot.”
The nature of the two-way deal is that Sheffield get first refusal on the former Coventry man’s services and the forward will continue to train in South Yorkshire.
When Swindon are without a game, Nell is likely to turn out for the Steelers in the Elite League.
The 6ft 3in forward is entering his third spell with Wildcats and has totalled 299 points in 188 appearances in the red-and-white jersey, giving him a weighty average of 1.6 points a game.
In addition to this weekend’s games, Wildcats host Bracknell on New Year’s Day (4pm).
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