SWINDON Wildcats player-coach Aaron Nell says the decision to hand D-man Stevie Whitfield a new two-year contract was ‘easy’ and labelled him as ‘the exact type of person we want at the club.’

Whitfield made his Wildcats debut back during the 2008-09 season and has since gone on to play 420 games for the Link Centre outfit, accumulating 100 total points in that time.

As well as the new two-year deal, Whitfield will be rewarded with a testimonial game in 2021 as a reward for his long years of service to the club, according to Nell.

The player-coach explained the reasons behind his decision to reward Whitfield with a new contract and is already looking forward to celebrating more success with the 28-year-old.

Nell said: “It was a very easy decision to re-sign Stevie.

“I want him to be here as long as he wants to play. He’s a great person and he loves the club.

“I know he wants to be playing in Swindon for as long as he can, so to give him a two-year contract was something that we really wanted to do.

“To be able to give him a testimonial afterwards as well is a just reward for the service he’s given us.

“Hopefully, we can have a great celebration for him in two years’ time.”

Whitfield’s new deal is the seventh contract extension of his career as he looks to add more success to the Autumn Trophy, NIHL Cup and NIHL South One league title that he has already achieved over the past two seasons.

Adding to that recent success was one of the primary reasons behind Nell’s decision to keep hold of the Swindon-born defender as well as the vital role he plays in the locker room.

Nell gave a glowing character reference to Whitfield and has admired his development as a person and a player in his time at the club.

Nell said: “He’s really developed as a person over the last eight years. In the dressing room, he’s a lot more confident and he’s a leader.

“He’s worked very hard to get to where he’s got to and he’s very difficult to play against.

“He works hard and he’s the exact type of person we want at Swindon and we’re very happy to have him back for two more years.

“He’s very open with all the players and all the players trust him.

“If things aren’t quite right, then I know a few players go and talk to him.

“He’s very well liked in the dressing room and he’s the exact type of person that we want around.

“I know he’s hungry for more success and hopefully we can have that over the next couple of years.”