THE Bespoke Guardians Swindon Wildcats have announced the signing of netminder Dean Skinns ahead of the new NIHL season.

Skinns joins Renny Marr and Michael Crisp as the Wildcats’ net-minding trio, with the majority of Aaron Nell’s squad having already taken shape.

Before missing the Covid-impacted season of 20-21, Skinns had spent the previous season with the MK Lightning following spells at Bracknell Bees, Basingstoke Bison, and Guildford Flames.

The experienced netminder has won the EPL play-offs and EPL Cup twice, as well as having lifted the League & Cup trophies with the Bison in the 2017-18 NIHLS1 season.

Skinns iced for the Wildcats between 2011 and 2013 and spoke of his delight at returning to the Link Centre for 2021.

He said: “It’s a great feeling to be coming back. It was a great club to play for before and it’s only gotten better since I was last here.

“Swindon has been a top team in the last few years so it will be good to help them on their hunt for silverware this year.

“It was an easy decision to come back. I think the club is one of, if not, the best-run club in the league and that will only make us more successful on the ice.

“I’m looking forward to working with Renny. He’s shown his ability to compete in every game and I’m sure that will only push us both to be the best we can be every night.

“Every year I set a goal to be consistent on the ice and if we as goalies give our team the best chance to win every night then I think it rubs off on everyone else in the team. We have to have a winning attitude from the first puck drop.”

Meanwhile, head coach Aaron Nell had his say after strengthening the goalie group.

He said: “Bringing Skinnsy in is massive for us. We already had one of the best netminders in the league in Renny and now we have a goalie who led his team to the league title just three years ago too.

“We could be playing upwards of 60 games this year, and for that reason I think it’s important to have two goalies. No-one could manage that schedule on their own and I think we’ll have one of the strongest net-minding duos in the National League.”

“I think the flexibility of having a duo like Renny and Dean will really help us as a team. They’re both capable of being our starting netminder and whilst Renny will be our starting netminder, Dean can play games when called upon which I think will be good for Renny as well.

“As a coach to have two goalies I can call upon night in night out will only benefit the team going forward.”