Solder says step-up from Raiders to Storm was shock to system

Defenceman Ben Solder in action for Manchester Storm in the Elite Series

Defenceman Ben Solder in action for Manchester Storm in the Elite Series - Credit: Mark Ferris

Defenceman Ben Solder reveals the step-up from Raiders to playing in the Elite Series with Manchester Storm has been a shock to the system. 

The 20-year-old was drafted by the Storm following a 12-game stint with the Raiders during the NIHL Spring Cup where he impressed, especially alongside experienced Elite League defenceman Zach Sullivan. 

And the duo are now playing together for Ryan Finnerty’s men at the mini series based at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham. 

“When I first got here, it was a bit of a shock to the system, first getting on the ice and the speed of everything is a lot faster than Romford and there is better players,” said Solder.

“The boys have welcomed me into the team really well, they’re all nice guys, and it’s been really fun and the games have gone to plan. 

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“In general it’s a higher level which means a higher standard and you just have to get used to it, and I think I’ve done alright, and just want to get even better.” 

Solder has gone from never icing in a senior match a mere few months ago to racking up 11-12 minutes of ice time each game and playing alongside Sullivan which he didn’t expect. 

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“To be honest I wasn’t, when I first got drafted coming into this, I wasn’t expecting much at all really being a young Brit but it’s really good and hopefully it can continue," he added.

“I love playing with Sully, we started playing with each other in Romford, and ever since we’ve become friends and it’s been good. 

“We have an understanding for each other on the ice so that makes it a lot easier and he’s someone I can speak to on the bench if I think I've made a mistake then he’ll let me know what’s happened or how to correct it.” 

The young defenceman was also full of praise for both Storm coach Finnerty and Raiders head coach Sean Easton. 

“I actually really like Finner as a coach, he treats you a lot more like a grown-up, instead of like an army camp type style where they tell you to do this and that," he said.

“As long as you’re ready to go, he’s fine with it, and he’s a really good coach that knows a lot about the game. All the boys love him, that’s always a good thing if your team loves you.”

He added: “Sean has done so much for me, he took me to the rink, let me come play with the Raiders and I’m really grateful to Sean. 

“He is a really good coach and I think he will make the Raiders organisation even better than it is now and he’s got a lot of stuff ahead of him.”

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