THE Bespoke Guardians Swindon Wildcats have announced Ben Nethersell as the club’s latest signing ahead of the new NIHL National season later this year.

Nethersell is one of several Wildcats to have broken into the senior side after graduating through the Okanagan Hockey Academy, based at the Link Centre.

After flirting with Aaron Nell’s squad on a handful of occasions before 2016, the 16-17 season was Nethersell’s first real taste of senior ice hockey.

Since then, the 23-year-old has remained an ever-present and has grown into a crucial part of the side.

The defenceman has iced in over 200 games for the club and has represented Team GB Under 18s on two separate occasions at two world championships.

Speaking to club media after the deal was agreed, head coach Aaron Nell revealed he was delighted to have signed Nethersell up for another year in Swindon.

He said: “I’m really happy to have Ben back in the team for another year.

“He was a stand-out name for our most improved player award in 2019-20, and he backed that up with some strong Spring Cup performances.

“It will be exciting to see how he develops over what we hope will be a more normal season.

“Ben is still young and he’s still learning the game, he has the ability to move the puck and his responsibility has grown in the last couple of years.

“I’m looking forward to working with him again, and I know how eager he is to get going. I hope this will be a big breakout year for Ben.”

After putting pen to paper, Nethersell described his delight in announcing he would return to the Link.

He said: “It was a really easy decision to sign here again, Swindon feels like home now and I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d rather play.

“I can’t wait to have some normality back in my life, it feels like ages since playing in proper competitive games and it’ll be great being back with the boys.

“It was strange playing in the spring cup behind closed doors, and seeing other sports now with the fans back makes me even more excited to have fans back in the Link Centre, it makes a huge difference on game night.

“I want to continue my development with the team, keep pushing forward, working hard and moving up the line up next year.”