December 8 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Defenceman Oliver praises team effort
Defenceman David Oliver believes the London Raiders are a much stronger side than they were given credit for during the off-season.
The closure of Romford Ice Rink and a forced relocation to Lee Valley left the club with a smaller budget and many observers suggested they would struggle to remain one of the ‘Big Four’ in National League One.
But after their 3-2 defeat at Invicta last weekend Oliver said: “I think it was a decent game. There was a lot of talk before the season about us being nothing more than a mid-table team and we wouldn’t be as strong as last year.
“We had an easy start against Gosport (a 6-1 win), but this result shows what we’re really about because Invicta were the team that came out of the summer looking really good.”
Oliver was named man of the match for the visitors but was pretty modest about it and had praise for the rest of the defensive corps, adding: “A number of players could have got the beers, like Billy Pillips or Dwayne Newman.
“I guess it just helped me that no goals went in while I was on the ice, but overall our defence looked pretty good all game.”
Oliver had extra praise for new blue line partner Phillips and is relishing the chance to play a bigger role for the Raiders this year.
He said: “I like playing with Billy. I think he’s the best British defender in the league and he’s just got everything in his locker, passing, shooting, hitting, the whole package.
“I think I’ve got a bigger role to play this year since we lost Julian Smith. They’re big boots to fill and I’m not saying that I do. I’m just happy to be playing and I feel that the more ice time I get the better I play.
“Everybody wants to get as much ice as possible and I hope I can have a big year.”
The tall, home-grown talent was also pleased to see the recently retired AJ Smith succumb to pleas to reconsider, adding: “It was great to have AJ back, he makes such a difference. You need a guy that finds those key passes and he does that by working in the corners.
“With his hands (puck skills) he can get past anyone in the league and create chances for us and we saw that on Sunday.”
Christine Ohuruogu and Mo Farah have been nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.