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Play-offs will mean everything says Novak after agreeing Raiders return

PUBLISHED: 19:00 30 July 2020

Raiders Blahoslav Novak battles with Leeds forward Steven Moore (Pic: John Scott)

Raiders Blahoslav Novak battles with Leeds forward Steven Moore (Pic: John Scott)

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Everyone Active Raiders forward Blahoslav Novak says reaching the National League play-offs after missing the post-season the last two years will mean everything to him.

Blahoslav Novak celebrates finding the net against Basingstoke Bison (Pic: John Scott)Blahoslav Novak celebrates finding the net against Basingstoke Bison (Pic: John Scott)

The 27-year-old returns to the Raiders gold and blue jersey for a third consecutive season having not played in the play-offs so far, due to suspension in 2018-19 and the Covid-19 pandemic cancelling the past season.

The Slovakian-native is raring to go for the upcoming season to push Sean Easton’s men comfortably in a play-off position at the earliest stage possible.

“I mean we still played a lot of games before the season got stopped, but really if you ask any player, coach or fans, the answer is same – it’s all about play-offs,” said Novak.

“It’s a new start, games where you play for everything, every team starts on zero points.

“For me personally it was the second season in a row that I didn’t get to play the most exciting part of the hockey season, so it’s going to mean more than anything for me this upcoming season.”

The former Telford Tigers forward is delighted to be back with the club as he feels something special is being built in Romford.

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“First of all I would like to say I’m glad I will be playing in Romford for the Raiders. We have very good thing going on,” added Novak.

“There is so many people who are passionate for ice hockey, for their club Raiders, and their city Romford.

“I’m so happy to get that privilege to represent Raiders and play at one of the best ice rinks in UK – Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre. I can’t wait to get back and get this thing going.”

Novak also admitted he has not been keeping track of other teams signing announcements as he says it’s all about team chemistry for success.

But he does believe head coach Easton is building a strong side, adding: “I haven’t really been watching other team signings. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if teams sign guys that had a taste in NHL or wherever.

“It all comes down to team chemistry, and work players put in to be successful. We showed that last year and will do the same this year.

“We had some great additions to team. I believed in our team last year, we proved we can beat anyone.”

The centreman also revealed he has been spending time with family during the current pandemic, but only just got away in time before the restrictions came in.

“I’ve spent some time with family luckily. I only escaped Romford one day before lockdown and I went to stay with my family in Norfolk,” he added.


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