SWINDON Wildcats player-coach Aaron Nell has hailed his side’s ‘special’ run of 14 league wins in a row and admits that a title challenge in NIHL South One was not something he felt was on the cards during their December struggles.

Nell’s side continued their perfect run of league form in 2019 following a 6-1 demolition of London Raiders at the Link Centre on Saturday night before grinding out a 4-1 win away at Streatham on Sunday.

The potentially title-deciding run began on December 28 – three days after Jonas Hoog was announced to be returning to Wiltshire – and featured excellent wins against title-challengers Peterborough Phantoms, Basingstoke Bison and Bracknell Bees.

With four games of the regular season remaining, the Wiltshire side are two wins away from securing a first-ever league title for a Swindon Wildcats side and Nell heaped praise on his players for their role in creating some potential history.

He said: “It’s a great achievement. The players have been excellent, they’ve been committed and focused and they deserve the success they’re getting at the moment.

“The work-rate of the players has been a key reason to the run and bringing (Jonas) Hoog in was big, but the players refocused and started playing like we can and how you have to play to be successful.

“It’s difficult to work as hard as they have for as long as they have. They’ve been great for the last seven or eight weeks and hopefully we can continue that.”

Between Bracknell away on November 25 to playing the Bees again on December 23, the Cats won only two of nine games and chances of a first league title, under their current name, went from promising to slim.

Swindon’s last title was back in 1997, when they were called the Swindon Ice Lords, and Nell felt his side would only be able to update the course of history through hard work and determination.

Nell said: “I believed that we could always do something, but we knew we’d have to rely on other teams to lose some games, and they have.

“All we could do is take it a game at a time. You don’t expect to win 14 games in a row, but what we’ve done has been special.”