MAX BIRBRAER says he and his Swindon Wildcat teammates are chomping at the bit to face Basingstoke Bison in the opening leg of their Autumn Cup final.

Game one is set to take place in Hampshire tonight, before the second leg sees the Cats welcome Bison to the Link Centre seven days later.

With the club’s title chase null and void, Birbraer admits it is exciting to play in a fixture that carries significance after several domestic ties.

The import also drew strength from the club’s performance against Telford Tigers, citing that the team play well when under pressure.

“We are quite eager to play the game. We’ve been waiting a while to play a game that has everything on it,” said Birbraer, who states the club have prepared well for the fixture.

“We’re exited to see ourselves in that situation because last time, against Telford Tigers, we probably had our strongest game of the season.

“Two weeks ago, we watched lots of videos and prepared really well for Telford, now we will mimic what we did there in terms of preparation.

“The negatives of not practicing is that we can’t practice routine stuff like power plays and breakaways.

“However, there are plenty of positives to it, we got plenty of rest, not only physically but mentally too.”

With the away leg coming first, Birbraer also said it is important that his teammates remain focussed on the job in hand.

Aaron Nell has also been handed a fitness boost, as teenager Jordan Kelsall is set for a return on Friday night after a month on the side lines.

“The best-case scenario is that we bring a lead home but in a game like this, sometimes emotions can run high, you can’t win it in the first game but you can lose it,” he said.

“If we keep it nice and tight that would be great. If we can get a draw or a win then great, but if we don’t then it’s not the end of the world.

“Even of we went a goal or two down it wouldn’t be the worst, although that is obviously not the result that we are looking for.

“It’s a six-period game and we need to take it a period at a time, or even a shift at a time because in these games, you don’t know what is going to happen.

“Being tight responsibly and smart is the key to this game.”