Matt Selby has paid tribute to the Swindon Wildcats faithful and is keen to strut his stuff in front of them once more next season.
The talented D-Man has just completed his first term in Wiltshire and made quite the impression, becoming a key cog in the side that finished sixth in the EPL and bowed out of the Play-Offs at the quarter-final stage to the Guildford Flames last weekend.
Selby – who also featured for Elite League outfit the Coventry Blaze in 2015/16 – put up 2 goals and 12 assists for 14 points in 42 games for the Cats, while he also formed a formidable partnership on the top line with Neil Liddiard.
Wildcats Head Coach Aaron Nell has already begun the process of building his roster for 2016/17, and a large number of fans are hoping that Selby is a part of those plans.
And, speaking to SteeleDavis Sports this evening, Selby has made it clear that he would relish a return to the Link Centre for next season and is determined to reunite with a fanbase that has taken a special place in his heart.
“Yeah, definitely,” the 20-year-old said when asked if he would consider committing to a second season with the Wildcats.
“I’ve had a great year and I’ve been more than welcomed from the very beginning – it was a great feeling.
“Although it was quite a crazy year with all the changes, it was still enjoyable and I felt right at home.
“The fans were absolutely amazing and I just want to make sure that they understand that – there is no better feeling than having that extra support from those guys.
“I noticed (on Sunday) that even when we lost to Guildford, they were still chanting at the end when we were picking up Man of the Match and I just looked over and thought ‘fair play to our fans.’
“They were still cheering regardless of the result and the fact that our season had finished, they were still giving us all of their support and it is things like that you really notice.
“It made the year go so much easier by having such great fans.
“I already knew that Swindon had good fans before coming into the club from playing against them previously, but when you play for them you realise what they are actually like and it is a whole different level.
“I had a great reception off them every single time I turned up and it made me want to work that little bit harder for them.
“It was a pleasure to play in-front of them and it has been a pleasure to play for the club.”
Selby will now take a break from hockey for the summer and, after holding brief talks with Wildcats Player/Coach Aaron Nell after the club’s exit from the Play-Offs last weekend, will let his short-term future sort itself out.
“I’ve had an absolutely fantastic year in Swindon,” he added.
“I don’t have a lot going on at the moment and it has all happened pretty quickly, I mean some teams are still playing out their seasons.
“I only got home a couple of days ago and I’ve not really thought about anything else, I’ve just been appreciating being at home with my family and just relaxing.
“All I am worried about now is getting on with my university work because it has been tough to juggle everything with hockey going on, so my main focus now is just to knuckle down with my studies and just go from there.
“I’ll let the hockey fall into place by itself.
“Aaron (Nell) mentioned that he was going to have a chat with me and I’m just going to wait to see what he can do.
“I spoke to Aaron briefly but we haven’t had any formal negotiations or anything, it is still very early doors and it is still new for everybody.
“In the next couple of weeks people will probably start looking at it more, but for now we’ll just take it step-by-step.”
Visit SteeleDavis Sports on Friday to hear more from Matt Selby, plus import forward Carlo Finucci speaks about his future plans.