SWINDON Wildcats have finalised their netminder line-up for the 2017-18 campaign by snapping up teenager Matt Smital from Bracknell Bees.

Smital, 18, becomes the 17th member of Aaron Nell’s Link Centre roster for their upcoming NIHL Division One South campaign and will challenge fellow new signing Renny Marr for duties between the pipes.

He becomes the second new Wildcats signing this week following the arrival of former Telford Tigers man Sam Zajac on Monday.

Smital made 14 appearances last term in the English Premier League as he pushed Alex Mettam all the way for the number one jersey at the Bees, displays that prompted Nell to make the move to bring him to Wiltshire.

“Matt played against us a couple of times last season and he’s one of the best young goalies in the country,” Nell said.

“He beat us last year and he’s really going to be able to push and support Renny and hopefully we can get a good amount of games out of him next season.

“Matt can’t wait to get started and I think we have a good tandem. Either one of them can play any night and we can be competitive. It’s all about having big goalies nowadays and taking up lots of the net.’’ Veteran netminder Lyle departed the Link Centre following the announcement that the Wildcats would be playing in the new-look NIHL format next term, but Nell is content with the business done to replace his experience.

“When we lost Stevie (Lyle), I wanted to make sure we got two goalies who push each other and I think we’ve done well to get the duo we have,” added the head coach.

Smital, meanwhile, is convinced he has joined an outfit ready to make an impact in their new surroundings next season.

“This season is a new chapter for me and I can’t wait to get started in September,’’ said Smital. “I think the team will be competitive again and we have some strong players already signed which gives us a good indication of what to expect this season.

“Swindon is known for being a very professional organisation and I remember from when playing against Swindon, how loud and supportive the Wildcats fans are.”