Swindon Wildcats head coach Aaron Nell said that the club would have gone out of business had they not returned to the Link Centre in December.

After having to spend 91 days on the road due to the Link Centre being damaged by heavy rain in December before finally being able to return to their home patch on December 16.

The Wildcats won 8-2 against Sheffield Steeldogs in front of a bumper 1,000-strong crowd in their first game back at the Link Centre, before playing another three home games in the following seven days.

“It was a great feeling,” said Nell, “It was a long three months looking back on what we went through as players and as a club.

“We had no idea what the condition of the ice would be, and no one skated on it until we practised that morning, we didn’t even know if the game would go ahead until we got on the ice.

“I think the fans really enjoyed it but for me, it was all relief and just being happy to be back to normal.”

Nell revealed all of the difficulties that everyone at the club had had to go through and just how close that game came to never arriving.

He said: “It was more the planning of the whole thing and the unknown that was the most difficult part.

“There was lots of the logistics of moving equipment about and players for six or seven weeks having to take things home.

“We didn’t have a dressing room and nowhere to wash our equipment and there are still issues now as some of the stuff isn’t working in the rink.

“We have been taking our sweats, towels, and shirts to one of our season ticket holders to wash for us.

“How we kept it together I am not quite sure, but we did and the players reacted really well. I couldn’t have asked for a better set of players as they took everything in their stride.

“We are really thankful to our sponsors and season ticket holders who stood by us, everyone put a lot of trust in us.

“There were a few nights, days, and weeks where we thought that we might not survive, so it was very difficult.

“Thankfully the GLL and the council came in and got a great plan in place with the contractors to get us open.

“If we didn’t open that weekend or if it was still closed now then we wouldn’t have a club.”

Now that they have been able to return to normal, Nell is just hoping to be able to push on and have a strong rest of the season.

He said: “We had a really tough start to the season and the situation was the reason why we struggled for those first seven games.

“The players figured out how to get through it and they put their heads down, going into that first game back we had won five games in a row.

“I was very confident that we were going to win that night, it was just making sure that everything else was ready to go and thankfully it was.

“We did a lot of travel early on and now I think we have only played three or four away games in five or six weeks and played 11 home games, so it is nice to have that turnaround on us.

“I think we have got three more double home weekends that we need to make the most of and we just want to keep that momentum going.”