Wildcats snap up former Devils ‘D’ man

Swindon Wildcats have bolstered their defensive ranks with the addition of the vastly experienced Mark Smith for the 2016/17 EPL season.

Smith is the final piece of the blueline jigsaw for Player/Coach Aaron Nell, signing a one-year deal following his departure from the Cardiff Devils.

“I’m delighted Mark has decided to play in Swindon next season,” said Nell.

“Mark is a very reliable and solid D-Man who is a very similar player to Neil Liddiard. He comes to play every night and he’s looking forward to a new challenge in Swindon.

“When the extra import became available I was very keen to sign a reliable stay-at-home D-Man and Mark fits the bill perfectly.

“He will really help and improve us defensively and also on the penalty kill.

“I’ve talked to lots of different people about Mark and everyone had good words to say about him.

“He’s a great person to have in the dressing room and he is keen to help our young defencemen – he is a great role model for them.”

In addition to icing for the Devils, Smith has also had spells with Edinburgh Capitals and Coventry Blaze in the Elite League, racking up over 300 appearances.

“I’m very excited about the team Aaron has put together,” said Smith. “I watched the team a few times last year and I’m excited about some of the players they have and the new guys they have brought in.

“I know Max (Birbraer) pretty well and I’m excited about playing with him again, and having Stevie (Lyle) in net is always a plus.

“He’s always a go-to guy, he plays big time games and I’m just extremely excited – I can’t wait to get started.

“I’m excited about the challenge and I will approach every game the same way I’ve approached every game in my career – and that is to give 100% every game, game in and game out.

“We should be pushing for trophies 100%. That’s why every player plays hockey or why they should play hockey – to win a championship.

“You don’t just turn up half-hearted out there, you want to give everything you’ve got and at the end of the season you want to know that you’ve put everything on the line and hopefully you’ve picked up some trophies by the end of it.

“This team should absolutely be competing for trophies and that’s a huge reason why I want to be a part of it.”

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