Wildcats shuffle their import pack

Swindon Wildcats have boosted their import ranks with the signing of vastly experienced forward Max Birbraer.

The former Cardiff Devils and Telford Tigers player replaces Carlo Finucci on the Wildcats’ roster as Player/Coach Aaron Nell looks to improve on last season’s sixth place finish in the EPL.

Nell said: “Max is a great all-round hockey player – he skates well, he has a great shot and plays hard all over the ice.

“You always know when you are playing against Max because he hits like a truck.

“Everyone I’ve talked to has said how good of a guy Max is and he will be a massive part of our locker room.

“Max will make us a tougher team to play against with his work ethic, two-way game and physical style of play.

“Looking at our team at the end of last season, that’s something I wanted to add over the summer.

Birbraer has made a habit of picking up silverware throughout his career and he’s determined to carry on doing that during his time with the Wildcats.

“I’d like to thank Swindon for giving me this opportunity and I hope I can be a vital part in the building process of my new club,” he said.

“I’m grateful for the club’s belief in me, and I hope to find out the secret behind Swindon’s good record against Telford in recent years and continue in the same fashion!

“I’m hoping to add more firepower and physicality to an already gifted offensive core and I’m looking forward to joining up with the team ahead of the new season.”

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Telford Tigers organisation, fans, office staff, coaches and, most importantly, the players for an amazing two years at the club.

“We lifted trophies while enjoying great progress over the last few years and the professionalism level at the club is second to none and it gives the playing staff every chance to win.

“It’s a great club to play hockey at and I can’t thank everyone enough at the Tigers and the town of Telford for my time with them all.

Finucci leaves the Wildcats after scoring 30 goals with 19 assists in 43 appearances last season.

Despite his delight at adding Birbraer to his roster, Nell admits the decision not to re-sign the Canadian was a difficult one to make.

“This is a decision that wasn’t taken lightly – Carlo is a very good player and person and is obviously a fans’ favourite, but I’ve decided to go in a different direction with our last two import slots,” said Nell.

“Carlo has plenty to offer and it goes without saying that I wish him well as he moves on.”

(Image permission: Steve Brodie)

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