SWINDON Wildcats player-coach Aaron Nell admits he is over the moon with the club’s latest addition, Sam Zajac from Telford Tigers.

The Wildcats chief has labelled the latest arrival a ‘marquee signing’ and the 27-year-old defenceman has some impressive stats to back up that claim.

During his 56 appearances for the Shropshire side last term, he managed to score seven goals plus claim a total of 36 assists, and throughout his three years at the club, he scored an average of 42 points a season.

Following the departure of veteran netminder Stevie Lyle at the end of May, Nell appreciated the club needed to bring in a big name to fill the void the 37-year-old Welshman left behind.

While Nell concedes it was a big loss, he thinks Zajac is more than capable of stepping up to the plate despite the inevitable pressure.

“When we knew about Stevie we knew we had to sign a top British player and Sam was on the top of our list,” said Nell.

“We are delighted that he has decided to come to Swindon, he was playing for one of the top teams in England last season and he’s a brilliant overall defenceman.

“We did speak to him briefly in the season, he was committed to Telford, but he is someone we’ve kept an eye on and someone I’ve admired.

“He will be relied on a lot but I know he is looking forward to it. He is a winner and he’s going to be a big part of what we are doing on and off the ice.

“Four years ago, we brought in Jan Kostal and that was a massive change. Last season, we brought in Phil Hill, that was another change in the right way.

“A lot of the things that these players bring are at practice, during the week and after the games which is why they are so important.”

Nell also revealed the 27-year-old had other offers elsewhere, but the Cats chief was able to steer his new recruit to the Link Centre.

“You’ve always got to sell the club and sell what we are doing, and I’m guessing he liked what he heard,” added Nell.

“He had options out there and I am glad that he thinks we are his best one.

“I think there has been a lot of turmoil in the last six months and I think what me, my dad (Steve Nell, Cats GM) and Ryan (Aldridge) have built over the last eight or nine years is starting to come to fruition.

“People are realising we are a good club who treat players the right way and now we are starting to get more players that we want.”