PLAYER-COACH Aaron Nell has urged Swindon Wildcats not to let their momentum slip this weekend as the prospect of silverware begins to loom on the horizon.

Nell’s side qualified for a second cup final on Tuesday night with an emphatic 5-1 win away at Telford Tigers in the second leg of their NIHL Cup semi-final.

The first of those begins on Friday night when Swindon travel to Basingstoke Bison for the first leg of the Autumn Trophy final.

However, the Cats face two league matches in NIHL South One before that, starting with another trip to Basingstoke on Saturday night (6.30pm) before they welcome London Raiders to the Link Centre 24 hours later (6.15pm).

Basingstoke currently sit top of the table as the league programme enters its closing stages, so victory over Swindon would strengthen their title credentials.

Although it looks unlikely that his side will be able to improve on their own position of third before the season is out, Nell says there is no chance of the Cats looking for respite this weekend in anticipation of their impending cup finals.

“I don’t think we can afford do that,” said Nell.

“We are obviously really looking forward to the cup final game but we have two big games this weekend and we have got to be playing hard to be ready for next Friday.

“What we can’t do is take a weekend off and not think about our performance and then turn up for the cup final and just think we can play.

“This first game against Basingsoke is going to be an important test. It is a massive game for them as they still want to finish top of the league but we’re going to go there to try to get two points.

“For us, it is about setting a marker and being ready for next week.”

The Cats have been handed a fitness boost ahead of next week’s cup final, with young forward Jordan Kelsall set to return for next Friday’s match following a leg injury.

Nell said: “Jordan won’t play this weekend but we should see him back next week.”