SWINDON WILDCATS: Aldridge admits new Swindon Wildcats signing is a gamble (From Swindon Advertiser)
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SWINDON WILDCATS: Aldridge admits new Swindon Wildcats signing is a gamble
SWINDON head coach Ryan Aldridge freely admits that the signing of forward Henri Sandvik is a gamble.
But the Link Centre supremo insists that is the case for any import, regardless of their previous experience in the game.
Initially keen on signing a British player as a direct replacement for Nicky Watt, Aldridge quickly discovered what he feared - that there was a shortage of home players of the right quality available.
Therefore he turned his attentions to the continent and brought in Sandvik from Finnish club LeKi at the recommendation of Swindon star Matias Perkkio amongst others.
Paperwork permitting, Sandvik will make his debut for the Wiltshire side tonight against Milton Keynes at the Thunderdome, and Aldridge is keen to see if the 25-year-old can adapt to the EPL.
“Our league is a funny league, either you can play in it or you can’t,” said Aldridge.
“Some guys have to learn how to play on their own because they have played at a higher level where they have had great guys around them.
“Every import is a gamble. Unless you’ve seen them with your own eyes, they are a gamble. That’s just the way it is.
“The biggest one for us was Toivo Suursoo (who had a 24-game spell at Swindon in 2010/11).
“He had had a great career but just struggled with our league because he didn’t have the talented players around him that he was used to.
“He just couldn’t play at our level.”
Although he feels it is difficult to know what he will get from an overseas player, Aldridge knows from Sandvik’s CV that he has all the tools to be a success at the Link Centre.
And the Wildcats supremo is confident the Finn will fit in with his new teammates in Swindon.
“With this guy you know what you’re going to get - he’s going to work hard, finish his shifts, be high energy and do what’s asked of him,” said Aldridge.
“He has to be able to skate and play because of the level he’s played at, you don’t play in the top leagues in Finland unless you can play the game.
“I think he will be the right guy just because of what he’s going to bring to the table.”