SWINDON Wildcats have announced the re-signing of defender Sam Godfrey on a one-year deal.

The 25-year-old, who was born in Swindon, will join up with fellow D-men Neil Liddiard, Tyler Plews and Stevie Whitfield as members of the Cats’ rear-guard for next season’s National League campaign.

Godfrey began his junior career at Swindon Lions in 2006 before moving away and making his professional debut at Slough Jets in the 2011-12 season.

The 25-year-old came back to Wiltshire in 2013 and played 53 games for the Cats.

He then spent four seasons away at Guildford Flames and Milton Keynes Lightning before returning to the Link Centre in 2018.

Now set to ice for the Cats in his second consecutive full season, Godfrey was a priority for player-coach Aaron Nell due to his locality and fierce play.

Nell said: “It was another very easy decision to sign Sam back.

“He’s a local lad who is a big part of our team. I know he loves playing for Swindon and we love having him, so it’s good to have him back.

“Defensively, he’s very good and he’s very hard to play against.

“Quite often, I’ll put him and Neil Liddiard against the other team’s top players or most physical players as they’re very difficult to play against.

“They’re a good tandem and Sam’s strength is his defensive play and how tough he is to play against.”

Godfrey was a key part of the Cats’ defence during last season’s NIHL South One title-winning campaign, playing 41 regular season games and claiming 12 assists – his career best for total assists in a season.

At just 25, Nell believes Godfrey still has plenty of room for improvement and is keen to watch the local man develop in the coming seasons.

Nell said: “Sam has played for a long time, but he’s still only 25 and since he’s been here, we’ve had a lot of success. Hopefully we can continue that with him.

“He’s very mature for his age – he’s a good person and all the players like him.

“Especially with him being local, he’s another big part of our team and someone that I expect to be here for a long time.

“We want to have as many local players here as possible. We’re trying to develop as many as we can.

“Sam came up through the juniors then went away for a little bit and improved at Guildford. He’s been great for us since he’s been back.”