Raiders coach hails Olympian mindset of new signing Jackson

Ashley Jackson in action for Raiders during the 2021 Spring Cup series

Ashley Jackson in action for Raiders during the 2021 Spring Cup series - Credit: John Scott

Everyone Active Raiders head coach Sean Easton hailed the Olympian mindset of Ashley Jackson, after he agreed to sign for the 2022-23 season.

Jackson is recognised as one of Great Britain's greatest hockey players, having appeared in three Olympic Games - one of only 24 players to do so - and won European gold in 2009 with England.

Now 34, he competed at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics in Athens, Beijing and London respectively, scoring 11 goals, and won a grand total of 250 senior caps for England and GB in a 15-year international career, netting a record 137 goals.

Great Britain's Ashley Jackson in action against the Netherlands at the London 2012 Olympic Games

Great Britain's Ashley Jackson in action against the Netherlands at the London 2012 Olympic Games - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

And he has also proven his goalscoring abilities on the ice at different times over the past 12 years.

Jackson tallied 88 goals and 82 assists in 100 combined appearances for Invicta Mustangs and Dynamos, winning the National League Division One South play-off title in 2016-17, when he was also voted onto the All-Star team.

He had a short spell with Basingstoke Bison the following season, scoring seven points (4+3) in 12 games and appeared briefly for Raiders in 2018-19 after the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre opened in Romford town centre.

Jackson also wore a gold and blue jersey during the 2021 Spring Cup series and will be looking to add to his total of 12 goals and 15 assists in 23 appearances for the club when the puck drops again in September.

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And Easton said: "It’s not often you get to work with an Olympian. His detail and mindset on what’s needed to be an athlete is second to none, with all his training required to be an Olympian.

"Ash has great vision and playmaking abilities, making our goalscoring more efficient. Defensively he has great accountability to ensure defensively his plus-minus will be positive.

"His experience will add huge value to the lockerroom and his on-ice game will ensure our puck possession game is on point."

News of Jackson's move from Invicta, where he scored 53 points (24+29) in 27 appearances last season, comes after it was also confirmed this week that Slovakian import Erik Piatak would be back for a fourth successive campaign.

The 36-year-old has scored 55 goals and 81 assists in 99 games for Raiders and rejoins Aaron Connolly, Dan Scott, Tom Relf, Jake Sylvester, Brandon Ayliffe, Jacob Ranson, Jack Cooper, Tommy Huggett, Ethan James, Brad Windebank, Callum Wells, Tjay Anderson and Jackson on Easton's roster for the National League campaign.

Raiders, having missed out on the play-offs last season, will be looking to improve in the enlarged 11-team division, following the additions of Bristol Pitbulls and Hull Seahawks.