Steve Nell targets 'stronger' Swindon Wildcats squad

Ice Hockey

Swindon Wildcats manager Steve Nell says he wants a "stronger" squad at the club next season.

The Wildcats finished seventh in the EPL standings to qualify for the play-offs but lost 6-1 on aggregate against Manchester Phoenix to miss out on a place at the grand finals weekend.

"It's all about getting turned around now," he told BBC Wiltshire.

"We've already started re-building and we'll see if we can put together a stronger team for next year."

Nell revealed that netminder Tom Murdy and defenceman Paul Swindlehurst have already committed for next season, but there could be some changes in personnel elsewhere.

"It's the best team we've had in the eight years we've been running but it's about building on that and bringing a bit more experience in," Nell added.

"We want to keep a core of our team. We've built on it over the past few years and if we can keep that core and have a little strength in depth in our second and third lines then that will help us.

"We've had a good season and we want to see if we can move up into fifth or sixth next year."

Swindon finished 17 points below Manchester in the finals league standings, and Nell concedes they lost out to a better side over the two legs.

"We had lots of opportunities and looking over the weekend, the first and third periods were where we lost it," he added.

"We just couldn't get passed their goalie. We had nine good quality chances but only got one goal in the end, so you could say it was lost on Saturday.

"Manchester played well. They're second in the league and we knew it was going to be tough. We thought we could beat them at home and maybe do something on the road but it didn't work out that way."

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