SAM Zajac believes Swindon Wildcats are in a good place with regards to developing their younger players.

Zajac joined the club over the summer and has played alongside both Ben Nethersell, Ollie Stone and Joe Hazeldine during his time at the club so far.

The former Telford Tiger, along with Neil Liddiard and Steve Whitfield have a combined total of over 40 years’ experience, something he believes can only be a good thing for the club’s younger D-men.

“I don’t feel a responsibility to coach the younger guys, obviously I’ve been playing with Ben Nethersell a lot and he’s a really skilful guy,” said the 28-year-old.

“When there are little hints and a bit of guidance to give then that is part and parcel of being one of the more experienced players.

“We have three experienced players and three younger players at the back so it has worked out quite well.

“It’s something I had as a youngster, you can’t play forever so it is important that you bring on the next generation.

“Ben and Ollie are the future of the Wildcats, so if I can help them develop, then it is satisfying.

“With Lidds its impressive that he can play at that level for so long, it’s not an easy thing to do but it shows if you commit and keep yourself in shape you can play for 15 or 20 years.”

This weekend Wildcats faces some familiar foes as they travel to Peterborough Phantoms in NIHL South One this evening, before welcoming Hull Pirates to the Link Centre on Sunday in the Autumn Cup.

With that, Zajac is fully aware of the challenge ahead of them this weekend and hopes the team can keep up their winning run as they continue to target silverware.

“They’re more recognisable opponents for us this week because they are a couple of old EPL teams,” he said.

“They have both made a couple of little changes to their teams but they still have that core from last season so we kind of know what to expect.

“I’m relatively happy with how I am doing, I mean as long as the team are winning that is the main thing.

“I’m enjoying it so far, everyone has been great and we play an exciting brand of hockey at times.

“The team has a lot of potential as well so hopefully, we’ll be able to try and win something this year, that would be the end game.”

Meanwhile, the club have also announced that Kyle Smith has left the club as a result of increased work commitments.

Player-coach Aaron Nell says it is a shame to lose the youngster but reiterated there is always a place for him at the Link Centre.

“We’re disappointed to see Kyle leave us, we wish him all the best for the future and would like him to know the door will always be open for him in Swindon if he decides to make a return to hockey,” he said.