Swindon Wildcats v Leeds Knights – Bobby Streetly happy facing toughest possible test in order to lift Autumn Cup

BOBBY STREETLY is aware of how tough it will be for Leeds Knights to overcome favourites Swindon Wildcats in order to lift the Autumn Cup - but insists he wouldn’t want it any other way.

By Phil Harrison
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 8:58 pm
Updated Friday, 17th December 2021, 8:32 am
Leeds Knights' assistant captain Bobby Streetly is ready for battle against Swindon Wildcats in the first leg of the NIHL National Autumn Cup Final. Picture: James Hardisty.
Leeds Knights' assistant captain Bobby Streetly is ready for battle against Swindon Wildcats in the first leg of the NIHL National Autumn Cup Final. Picture: James Hardisty.

Aaron Nell’s team are NIHL National’s form team, currently sitting top of the regular season standings, six points of their closest rivals, Telford Tigers.

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Not since the opening night of the league campaign when they lost 4-3 to Sheffield Steeldogs have the Wildcats been beaten in regulation.In fact, only three teams have beaten Swindon inside 60 minutes in all competitions, Telford and Leeds being the other two.

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Swindon Wildcats have flown to the top of the NIHL National standings, having not lost in regulation since the start of the league campaign. Picture: James Hardisty.

But, regardless of overall form going into tonight’s first leg at the Link Centre, Leeds-born assistant captain Streetly is comfortable that the visitors have enough quality in their ranks to upset the odds, much like they did in the two-legged semi-final against Sheffield last month.

“We’re all focussed on what is obviously the biggest game this club has had so far,” said the 27-year-old. “It’s what everyone plays the game for - to be in finals like this and to be in with a chance of winning something.

“They are the team to beat, but, ultimately, this is what you want - to be playing the best team around and they are flying at the minute.”

Leeds’ own league campaign has been hampered by long-running injury problems which have only recently begun to clear, giving Streetly the belief that with most bodies now back in the line-up, the Knights can get back to the kind of form they showed in the group phase of the Autumn Cup, when they won their first six games.

“The last few weeks are not really a fair reflection on where we’re at as a team,” added Streetly.

“Now, with everyone coming back, I believe we’re going to start to find the kind of form that we were producing in September.We’re going into the first half of a 120-minute hockey game.

“Nothing is going to be won or lost on Friday. It’s the biggest game of my career, in terms of the level of hockey we’re at. Being from Leeds, it will mean everything to me and I’ll be so proud if we can pull this off.”