Countdown is on for Raiders forward Pitchley following release of league fixture list
PUBLISHED: 14:30 03 August 2019
Everyone Active Raiders forward JJ Pitchley is counting down the days to the start of the new National League campaign, after the release of the 2019/20 season fixtures at the weekend.
Raiders were handed a trip to last year's champions Swindon on Saturday September 21 when the fixtures were revealed on Saturday morning, followed by a visit to Romford's Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre from Basingstoke the next night.
Sean Easton's men welcome Telford the following weekend, then face successive trips north to Sheffield and Hull.
And Raiders will also come up against old Division One South foes Bracknell and Peterborough as well as MK Lightning and the newly formed Leeds Chiefs in the 10-team division.
Pitchley said: "It's good to know what the next six-seven months look like and where we will be each weekend makes the countdown officially start.
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"It will be a challenging year that's for sure but I feel with the talent and experience we have, we will bring some silverware back to the Sapphire.
"The team looks physical and fast which has been the Raiders bread and butter for as long as I can remember and the end goal is still to make the Final Four weekend and to be competitive every week."
Raiders have been back on the ice in recent weeks to start their preparations, having added new faces in the form of import duo Marek Malinsky and Lukas Sladkovsky and Jack Flynn, and seen Olegs Lascenko and Ross Connolly return following earlier spells in the gold and blue jersey.
Home-grown star Pitchley, 25, added: "We have been skating for a few weeks now and over the last couple of sessions it's nice to see the numbers jump up.
"So with the countdown to the start of the season, it's certainly not long at all. I think all of the boys' summer holidays,weddings and sunbathing is winding down and it's now when the hard work really ramps up a gear.
"We will be hitting it hard in the gym and getting things back up to speed on the ice so that things come together quicker than last year when we play our first game in Bracknell."
Raiders start the 2019/20 season with a double-header challenge against Bracknell Bees, travelling to Berkshire on September 14 and hosting a return meeting in Romford the following evening.