VETERAN defenceman Neil Liddiard will continue to be Swindon Wildcats’ ‘Mr Dependable’ next season after penning a fresh contract with the club this week.

Remarkably, next season will mark the 41-year-old’s 28th season in British hockey – in that time he has served clubs including Peterborough, Basingstoke, Guildford and even Australian outfit Adelaide Avalanche among others.

His 2020-21 campaign will also be his ninth with Swindon Wildcats, having first iced for the club in 1993 as a budding teenager.

Liddiard has on several occasions expressed to the Adver that he has no desire to retire just yet. And today’s news only highlights the Swindon-born defenceman’s commitment to the sport he has adored since he was a toddler.

Wildcats player-coach Aaron Nell couldn’t speak more highly of Liddiard when confirming the news.

He said: “He absolutely loves the game, and the players love him being around the locker room.

“He’s still got a lot left in the tank, and it’s an easy conversation to have when it comes to discussing with Neil about continuing his role.

“His professionalism and attitude are both spot on. He’s been a great player for us for five years, in addition to the years previous, and I look forward to working with him next season too.”

Full time, Liddiard works as a personal trainer and has benefitted tremendously from his profession concerning his ability to keep up with younger players.

Nell accepts the right shooter even puts the majority of Wildcats’ locker room to shame in the physical department, and hopes there are still a couple more years left in his tank yet.

Nell added: “Neil is very smart and has played this game for a long time, he’s in amazing shape too which helps.

“He probably puts the rest of us to shame in the physical department.

“He looks after himself and knows what he has to do to get ready for a game. He’s the type of player that battles hard and blocks shots.

“He’s a quiet leader in our dressing room and I love having him in Swindon.

“The best thing about Neil is his consistency. He sets that strong example for the rest of the players.

“The younger ones understand if they want to play as long as he does then they must treat their body like Neil does.

“I’m not sure there will be many players in our team that play as long as Neil has. But Lids loves it, and hopefully there are a few more years left in him.”