Import Jan to return to the Link next season after signing new deal
5:30am Saturday 15th March 2014 in Exclusive By Michael Reeves, Deputy sports editor
JAN Kostal has committed his future to Swindon Wildcats after signing a new deal to return to the club next season.
The 33-year-old is the first player from this campaign’s squad to signal his intentions to return to the Link Centre.
The former Czech Republic international will also become head coach Ryan Aldridge’s right-hand man after agreeing to be his assistant.
“I’m absolutely delighted that Jan will be here again next season,” Aldridge told the Advertiser.
“He is a vastly experienced player and someone that we can build a squad around.
“I’m also pleased that he will be my assistant. At this stage of his career he is looking to his next step in ice hockey and it is great that it will be with us.”
Aldridge said that while Kostal will focus his efforts on playing on matchdays, the input he will have throughout the week will be invaluable.
“It will give me the chance to talk things through with somebody else, which I haven’t had this season,” Cats chief said.
“He will concentrate on playing when we have games, but we will be able to talk things through during the breaks.
“It also great to have another person to bounce ideas off and put their opinion in and say when he doesn’t feel what we are doing isn’t 100 per cent right.”
In his first year with the Link Centre side, Kostal has played an integral part in helping Cats in their push for the play-offs.
And Aldridge said that Kostal is looking forward to the future in Swindon.
“We went out for a meal with our partners in the week and you could tell that Jan is really enjoying his time here and wanted to comeback,” Aldridge said.
“This is also an opportunity for him to further his career in ice hockey by joining my coaching staff.”
Aldridge is hoping that Kostal won’t be the only member of this season’s squad to recommit to the squad as he make his plans for next term.
“We are in talks with other players,” he said. “But with Jan on board now, and being my assistant, we can look at our recruitment for next year together.”
The news that Kostal has committed to Cats beyond this campaign will give them a boost heading into tonight’s home clash with EPL leaders Manchester Phoenix.
That game is followed by a trip to fellow play-off hopefuls Bracknell Bees tomorrow.