SWINDON Wildcats player-coach Aaron Nell said his team deserved more after ending their Spring Cup campaign with a devastating 5-4 loss to champions Sheffield Steeldogs on Sunday.

Following a 9-3 success over Bracknell Bees at the Link Centre on Saturday, Nell’s men almost provided the shock of the tournament 24 hours later when leading the unbeaten Steeldogs 4-3 inside the third period.

But two goals for the hosts helped to maintain Sheffield’s unbeaten record throughout the 12-game tournament and resulted in a third-place finish for Swindon.

Reflecting on an extremely encouraging final pair of Spring Cup outings, Nell said: “Against Bracknell at home on Saturday, we started really well – we were three goals up after two minutes.

“It’s difficult to keep going at that pace, but to end up with a 9-3 win, I was really happy with the result.

“Against Sheffield on Sunday, they’re the best team in this tournament and you can see why they’ve won 12 out of 12.

“They’ve got a really good team, but we were unlucky not to get a win because we were ahead in the game.

“They got a goal at the end of the second period which brought them back into it, and then the best player in the tournament scored two goals in the third period.

“It was a good weekend, but I’m frustrated we didn’t beat Sheffield because we deserved more.”

Nell said the tournament was a huge success in his eyes and admitted how lucky he felt to be back on the ice once again when so many were unable to stay active.

The Wildcats player-coach also praised his team for continuing to improve throughout and revealed a couple of names for fans to look out for in the future.

Nell said Reed Sayers and Jack Goodchild enjoyed sparkling debuts and suggested the pair would be a key part of the Wildcats roster when the new season rolls around.

Asked how Nell viewed the overall tournament and what he learned about his side, he said: “Would I have liked us to get a couple more wins? Yes. But I thought we improved over the course of the tournament.

“We had a really tough weekend in the middle losing twice to Telford, so to come back and beat them two weeks later was big for us.

“If we had kept on going, I believe we would have continued to get better. I also learned that we’ve got a couple of young players that are really knocking on the door, and they’re going to be a big part of our team going forward.”