SWINDON Wildcats captain Jan Kostal has announced his retirement following the conclusion of the 2018-19 season.

The Czech player first arrived at the Link Centre in 2013, with his tenure at the club culminating in leading them to the NIHL South One title this spring.

Kostal, who turned 39 earlier this month, also skippered Swindon to NIHL Cup and Autumn Trophy glory in the 2017-18 campaign.

Cats head coach Aaron Nell was quick to praise the impact Kostal has had on ice hockey in Swindon.

“Since Jan has arrived in Swindon, you could tell the amount of experience and professionalism he had,” said Nell.

“It has been an unbelievable privilege for Jan to have iced for the Wildcats as long as he did.

“As a club we were lucky to have him and must thank him for the way he changed the Swindon Wildcats for the better.

“He is a good friend of mine and the whole team really looked up to him. We wouldn’t be where we are today without Jan.

“As a player, he was a warrior on the ice and the fans adored him in Swindon

“He was a pleasure to play with, a pleasure to coach and he was our captain.

“We will miss him next season, but he retires a league champion and he was a big part of it.”

Kostal arrived at the Link Centre in 2013 after spending 10 consecutive seasons with his hometown team, HC Energie Karlovy Vary.

Having arrived under former coach Ryan Aldridge, Kostal amassed 277 points (125 goals and 152 assists) in 338 games during his career in Swindon.