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Davis excited as Raiders get ready for Romford debut on opening day of Sapphire Ice

PUBLISHED: 11:00 02 February 2018

Tom Davis looks to set up an attack for London Raiders against Basingstoke (pic John Scott)

Tom Davis looks to set up an attack for London Raiders against Basingstoke (pic John Scott)

Archant

London Raiders move to Romford this weekend to be part of the grand opening of the new Sapphire Ice and Leisure Centre.

The gold and blue outfit will host National League South One strugglers Cardiff on their first night at the new town centre venue on Saturday (5.45pm) before travelling away to London rivals Streatham IHC the following night.

And captain Tom Davis, who is the only player to have spent every season with the club during their time at Lee Valley Ice Centre, is excited to be bringing ice hockey back to Romford.

“This Saturday really can’t come soon enough for the guys and I,” the 27-year-old said.

“We’re all extremely excited to get going in the new rink.”

The Raiders have been training at the new rink for the last few weeks and are already starting to feel at home.

“We’ve had a couple of weeks in the new rink now and it’s already starting to feel like we have been here for ages,” said Davis.

“The rink is great and I can’t wait to see it packed out.”

The club is expecting a sell-out for the first ice hockey match in Romford since 2013, but the captain admits they cannot take basement club Cardiff lightly as they need to win to maintain a hold on fourth spot in the league.

“Cardiff isn’t a team you can take lightly,” Davis added.

“They are still seeking their first win and what better way for them to get it than on an opening night in a new rink? I expect them to come for the win, but with our form this season, and it being tight from fourth to sixth in the table, we need the points.”

It’s a hectic week for the club as they travel south of the river to Streatham Ice and Leisure Centre on Sunday (6.45pm) as they look to push themselves away from the Redhawks who are chasing them for a top-four spot.

“We have a huge away game on Sunday against Streatham, which we know is never an easy game, but again it’s a huge two points we need, so we have to turn up ready to play,” said Davis.

Raiders will also be playing their first midweek game when they host high-flying Swindon Wildcats on Wednesday evening (7.45pm).

The old Romford club played the last midweek game back on February, 16, 2012, when they snatched a 1-0 victory against rivals Chelmsford Chieftains in the Essex Cup thanks to a goal from JJ McGrath.

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