CHRIS Jones says Swindon Wildcats have proved they are a side for the big occasion after their heroics of last season.

Aaron Nell’s side won both the NIHL Cup and Autumn Trophy in a glittering campaign, as well as producing a spirited performance amid a controversial defeat in the end-of-season play-offs in the quest for league honours in NIHL South One.

Expectation has therefore risen around the Link Centre as the Cats press to be amongst the leading contenders in the new campaign.

However, forward Jones believes that the success Swindon achieved last season is evidence that the team thrive when the pressure is at its highest.

“We have absolutely proved we know how to play in the big games,” said Welshman Jones.

“In the big games last season, the semi-finals and finals, we came out on the right side, and hopefully it will be the same again this season.

“It is going to be tough, but we have got some big game players and I think we should be fine.

“I think the other teams will definitely be looking at us as a threat. The way we played towards the end of last year, we were great.

“There are definitely going to be a few teams in the running – Bracknell and Basingstoke look good, Telford are going to be in it for the Autumn Trophy.

“I think there is going to be pressure on us, but if we play the way we can, we are going to be just fine.”

Jones is about to start his second season as a Swindon player, having made the move to the Link Centre last summer after many successful years with Cardiff Devils in the Elite League.

The 27-year-old registered 76 points in 53 appearances last season and says he did not have to think twice about coming back when approached by the club.

“It was an easy decision. It is a great club here at Swindon and they treat the guys really well, so it is never a tough decision to want to come back to a team like that,” said Jones.

“Aaron and Steve (Nell, general manager) do a great job of making you feel welcome and do a great job of running the team.

“The club is run the right way, so it was an easy decision to stay on.”