NETMINDER Dean Skinns has been impressed with Henri Sandvik’s impact since the Finnish forward arrived at Swindon three weeks ago.
Alongside four goals and six assists in five games, the 25-year-old import has added steel and grit to the Wildcats’ armoury after signing on at the Link Centre, and he will hope to show that again when his side host Peterborough on Saturday (5.45pm) and travel to Telford on Sunday (5.30pm).
Skinns feels Sandvik’s physical presence is a valuable commodity in the EPL, especially in the wake of enforcer Nicky Watt departing Wiltshire last month.
“Henri has come in and I think he’s brought a lot,” said Skinns.
“Nicky left and we lost that nastiness to our play but Henri is very much like that. For an import player he’s not afraid to get stuck in and hack and whack if he has to, and that’s what we really need heading into the play-offs.
“European players are usually more concerned with the skill front, you look to feed them or get them to feed you, but Henri’s seems to have a little bit of everything, he’s a real all-round player.
“Any time you lose a presence on the ice it’s a key factor in a team, you want to have someone who is going to stick up for players and do a job at the same time. That can give you so much confidence.
“You can have one player that is like that but that’s only one guy and he can’t carry the whole team. If you’ve got one guy who’s going to lead the charge and throw the body around, hopefully that rubs off on other players and they all do the same.”
Another recent recruit is Ollie Betteridge, who was man of the match in the 5-4 defeat at Bracknell on Sunday and has bagged three goals and three assists in his opening five matches.
Defenceman Shane Moore believes the 17-year-old has proved himself an astute signing since arriving from Nottingham.
“Ollie’s a cracking young player and the more he plays, the more he’s going to develop,” said Moore.
“He’s a great pick-up for us and it’s good for him to challenge against better players.
“It’s really hard to come across good young Brits at this time of year, but Ollie’s come in and he’s going to score points for us.”