PROVEN Elite League netminder Brad Day will present Swindon Wildcats with a stiff task in front of goal this weekend, as Aaron Nell’s side finalise preparations ahead of their National League campaign.

The Cats face Telford Tigers at home tonight (6.15pm) before the return fixture takes place in Shropshire tomorrow evening – a match that will be Swindon’s final pre-season run-out before next Saturday’s opening National League visit of London Raiders.

Huddersfield-born Day, 25, will be a tough nut to crack prior to Swindon’s opening league face-off, though.

Having iced 24 times for Sheffield Steelers – recording an average save percentage of .91 in those games – Cats player-coach Nell understands the challenges his fellow forwards are likely to experience this weekend.

Nell, who was encouraged by last weekend’s home attendance of more than 1,100 against Bracknell Bees, said: “Telford wanted to upgrade their goaltender, and they’ve done a great job in doing that.

“Two or three netminders have come down from the Elite League this season. The netminding side of things in the league this year will be important, and we’re happy with Renny (Marr).

“It was unfortunate we didn’t win last Saturday, but it shows how close things will be this season in the league.

“It was an entertaining game, the fans certainly enjoyed it.”

The Tigers’ quick line changes could also hurt Swindon’s hopes of registering a first win at home this season.

Tonight’s visitors boast Andrew McKinney, Jason Silverthorn and Scott McKenzie in their attacking ranks – all of whom have iced in British hockey’s highest tier for at least a season.

Picking off the visitors’ weak links is therefore part of Nell’s plan to tame Tom Watkins’ side.

He added: “Telford are quite similar to last season. Their top players are very good and experienced.

“You’ve got to make sure you’re ready for their top players. If you give Telford too much time or space then they will make you pay.

“It’s their first weekend of playing, whereas we’ve already got a weekend of games behind us. But Telford are well coached so it will be a challenge.

“We’ll make sure we’re aware of their lines changes, but it’s pre-season so we must worry about what we are doing first and foremost.

“I saw an improvement in the team last weekend from Saturday to Sunday, and now we want our first win at home of the season.”