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Cooper ready for London Raiders return

PUBLISHED: 17:00 11 November 2016

London Raiders defenceman Jack Cooper (pic John Scott)

London Raiders defenceman Jack Cooper (pic John Scott)

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Defenceman expects tough tests after weekend break

London Raiders are set to return to National League action after a free weekend and defenceman Jack Cooper expects two very difficult matches.

Raiders welcome Oxford City Stars to Lee Valley tomorrow (Saturday, 5.30pm), looking to extend a five-match unbeaten run on home ice and avenge a 9-3 loss in the university city last month.

Alan Blyth’s men then make their first trip of the season to Solent’s small rink on Sunday and Cooper said: “Oxford is going to be a very tough game, even though we have made our rink a hard place to come this year.

“Oxford are a very well-drilled team and never give up on each other no matter how the game is going for them, so it’s going to be tough.

“Solent will be a complete different game for us. It’s a team we don’t know much about yet as we haven’t met them this year, but it’s a hard place to go.

“It’s a small rink, so it’s a very fast paced game. We need to play as a unit as we did against Milton Keynes (a 4-0 win), stay disciplined and get the win.”

Raiders have won four and drawn two of their 10 matches so far this campaign, with 20-year-old Cooper alongside Julian Smith, Matt France, John and Ross Connolly and Mark Robinson in defence.

And the former Albany pupil is hoping for bigger things this term, adding: “The weekend off has probably helped us. We have had a few injuries leaving us with a short bench, so a weekend of full rest has done us good.

“I think we’re doing very well this year compared to last season and we have gelled a lot better and have become a stronger team.”

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