SWINDON Wildcats have completed the signing of Nottingham Panthers D-man Sam Oakford on a short term contract.

The former Bracknell Bees and Basingstoke Bison player played a part in tonight’s defeat to Telford Tigers in the unnamed number 24 jersey and show glimpses of his talent.

The arrangement appears to be a short term swap deal with Ollie Betteridge, who is on a two-way contract with Nottingham Panthers, playing both games this weekend for the Elite League side.

Both Betteridge and Oakford are expected to be in the line-up for tomorrow night’s clash with Bracknell Bees and then the situation will be assessed after that.

“Oakford played for me at Bracknell a long time ago. He is a Nottingham lad and has been injured for a while so he has come back from injury and needs some ice so he is going to play for us for a few games,” said Aldridge who said the deal was done late on Friday night.

“We’ll see how he does and how he assesses it and hopefully we can keep him for a while.

“They needed forwards and we needed defence so Ollie will be back in the line-up for us tomorrow, he played for them last night and tonight and we’ll see what he can do.”

Oakford was unable to prevent Swindon from falling to a 5-3 defeat at the hands of the league leaders but said he was pleased to be in Swindon and getting some much needed ice time.

“I’ve been injured and basically there have been a lot of injuries and it is a trade off for Ollie to play for the Panthers tonight and I have come and played for the Wildcats this weekend,” said the D-man who is recovering from a mild concussion that has kept him out since before Christmas.

“The Wildcats are missing D and the Panthers are missing forwards and I myself have been lacking quite a lot of match fitness because I haven’t played since before Christmas and it fitted in quite nicely.

“Ollie plays for us and does well and we needed forwards and Swindon needed D so it has worked out quite nicely.

“I believe it is just for this weekend to get me back into shape but if it happens again and it is able to with contracts then, yeah, cool. I am happy to do that.

“I have said it a lot and I said it last year when I played in Bracknell last year and in Basingstoke, Swindon always have a good team and have always got the potential to win the league, I don’t think there is any doubt about that and I think one day it is going to come together.

“They have some really good players and a lot of good young players.

“Okanagan is really good for British hockey and I have got to thank them for letting me come and play for them this weekend.”