Former Raiders defenceman Manny is excited for return as Fire comes to Romford
PUBLISHED: 10:00 15 February 2019
Former Raiders defenceman Phil Manny is looking forward to his first visit to the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre this weekend, writes Jacob Ranson.
The 34-year-old, who had two stints as a Raider, is visiting with Cardiff Fire to take on Romford’s new-look second team on Saturday.
Ben Pitchley’s Raiders will then make the short trip to London rivals Haringey Huskies the following night.
“It will be the first time coming to the new rink, but the pictures of it look nice,” Manny said.
“It’s a good reward for the hard work John Scott and the Raiders faithful put into keeping a team going when Rom Valley closed.
“It will be nice to see a lot of familiar faces as we got to know a lot of nice people when we commuted from Cardiff every weekend.”
Manny, along with fellow Fire players Ricky Deacon and Ross Wilkinson, travelled to play for London Raiders during the 2014/15 season, playing out of Lee Valley.
And the Welshman also played 15 times for Romford Raiders during the 2007/08 season.
He added: Romford was always a pretty hostile place to come and play, I’m hoping after my last stint the supporters go easy on me!”
The last time the two sides met Fire came out 6-5 winners on their home ice and Manny is now keen to complete the double.
“We always turn up with the aim of getting the win and will be definitely be gunning for another on Saturday in Romford,” he said.
“We let our foot off the gas at home, but had a great comeback.”
Cardiff’s current assistant coach did however praise the young Raiders team and was impressed with how it will help the prospects step into the first team in the coming years.
“Raiders NIHL2 are a decent looking set-up and I’m a big advocate of having a stepping stone for young players,” he added.
“I was particularly impressed with Brad Windebank who I think is a great young goalie and I’m sure we’ll see him in NIHL 1 in the not too distant future.”
Raiders go into the clash on the back of a 4-3 win over Basingstoke Buffalo last weekend.
A hat-trick from 16-year-old Ewan Hill and a solo effort from Tommy Huggett sealed the points in Hampshire.