Jenner's enjoying return to Raiders
PUBLISHED: 17:00 04 December 2015
Experienced defenceman glad to be back in gold and blue
London Raiders defenceman Rob Jenner admits he doesn’t know much about Sunday’s opponents Streatham, but he is impressed with how his own team have been playing, writes Lee Power.
Jenner returned to a Raiders jersey last month, after playing for Division Two side Haringey in recent seasons, and helped them to a 7-4 victory over Oxford last weekend.
Having come up through the junior ranks at Romford before making his Raiders debut in the 2000/01 season, Jenner is no stranger to a gold and blue jersey.
And he is more than glad to be back among some familiar faces, saying: “It’s good fun, I’m enjoying it, although I did look a bit shaky at the start, when we conceded a goal on my first shift against Invicta!
“I was a bit too aggressive and pinched too high. My head wasn’t really screwed on completely!”
Jenner quickly put that mistake behind him and has certainly been a steadying influence on the blue line in his four appearances to date.
Team-mate David Oliver praised him this week, for the way he is helping Jack Cooper develop his own game, and Jenner added: “I love playing with Coops. We played together when he first dropped back to defence and he’s unbelievable.
“He’s quick enough to cover for my mistakes and the extra bit of weight I’m carrying!
“We’ve got some really good players on the team. Frankie Harvey and Liam Chong I knew more of and I played with Rob Veares for Romford Fury and Haringey, but not on the same line.
“He loves to step up and play the body and knows his job. He’s a bit similar to me in that, he likes doing what he does.
“Seb Downing has improved massively in the last two to three years and Rio (Grinell-Parke) is unbelievable for a 16-year-old.”
Jenner was in his mid-teens when he first broke into the Raiders line-up, as an England junior international, and already had 239 appearances for the club to his name before his recent return.
He added: “Alan Blyth asked me to come back last year, but I didn’t want to leave Haringey. We spoke again in the summer, but I was still in two minds, time-wise. He sent another message asking did I want to skate and I did, but I was giving myself reasons not to.
“It’s worked out, though. I add a bit of experience to the defence and create some competition and more options. A few of them like to remind me that I look a bit older than most, though!”
At 30, Jenner is the oldest British player on the team and, as a result, well placed to discuss the merits of the Raiders.
“Everyone seems to get quite well. There’s potential for all three lines to be firing – we’ve got two good imports and some really good Brits,” he said. “Tom Davis has stepped forward with Frank being injured and he’s a good forward with a great shot. Tom and Liam were playing defence, but both can score goals.”
As for the opposition, though, Jenner knows much less.
“I’ve not played at the new Streatham rink and I don’t know much about a lot of the teams in the league. I know Streatham have got Nicky Chinn, but I don’t know the standard of teams relative to others,” he added.
But Jenner knows what he has to do for this Raiders team and it’s a case of so far, so good.