Hemel Stags skipper Swindells signs on for the 2015 campaign

BJ Swindells in action for the Stags
BJ Swindells in action for the Stags

Hemel Stags captain BJ Swindells has agreed to stay with the club for the 2015 campaign.

The long serving Swindells enjoyed an excellent 2014 season, scoring nine tries and kicking 61 goals in 22 first team appearances.

Delighted Stags head coach Troy Perkins said: “BJ’s a local lad who has held his own since we’ve been in the professional ranks.

“It’s good to see him on board for next season, and I think he’s got a few more seasons in him after seeing how much he loves playing for Hemel.”

Meanwhile, Perkins has heaped praise on his side following their gutsy defeat in the Championship One playoff clash with Gateshead earlier this month.

“I was proud of all the players that took the field against Gateshead”, said Perkins.

“We were up against it from the start with several players missing due to injury including leading try scorer James Hill, centre Aaron Small and back rower, Steve Bannister.

“However, those who travelled went into the game with plenty of belief that we could progress to the next round, and we came very close to doing that.”

Perkins then went on to reflect what might have been had crucial injuries during the game not denied him two of his most influential players.

“We were dealt a big blow after 10 minutes when we lost influential forward Eddie M’Baraga with a rib injury, and then lost Cieran Clement-Pascall with an elbow injury not long after half-time,” he said.

“It was a physical game and a match of high quality and, even though we conceded the first try, we kept in the arm wrestle with great goal line defence. “We were leading 6-4 until the last play of the first half when we conceded a try from a scrum.

“The second half we turned over a fair amount of ball in the opposition’s half which didn’t help our cause, but to the players’ credit, we kept coming at Gateshead and never gave in.

“I thought a draw was a fair result on both teams, although being a playoff we headed into golden point where a drop goal decided the game.”

Perkins concluded by saying: “It was tough losing by a golden point and the players were all physically and mentally shattered.

“The players all gave 100 per cent and that’s all I can ask; the commitment and courage they showed on Sunday night proved what a great group of people we have playing for the club.”