Connolly itching to get back on the ice with Raiders after a ‘hard’ injury-hit campaign

Raiders defenceman Ross Connolly (Pic: John Scott)

Raiders defenceman Ross Connolly (Pic: John Scott) - Credit: Archant

Everyone Active Raiders defenceman Ross Connolly is itching to get back on the ice after dealing with a hard season where he remained sidelined for the majority of the campaign.

Ross Connolly on the puck for Raiders at Bracknell (pic John Scott)

Ross Connolly on the puck for Raiders at Bracknell (pic John Scott) - Credit: Archant

The 22-year-old has agreed to return to the Romford club for the 2020-21 season having only made 12 appearances last term after an ankle injury away to Swindon Wildcats brought his season to an end.

The Scottish native admitted it was tough to endure watching the results come through while he nursed a ruptured Achilles from a skate slicing through his ankle in the match on November 2, 2019.

“It’s been a long time but I can’t wait to get back on the ice doing what I do best,” Connolly said.

“It was very hard indeed. For me personally I think the hardest part was being stuck at home whilst dealing with my rehab watching the team every weekend and not being able to be on the ice with the boys.”

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The Covid-19 pandemic has been hard for most sports personnel but the former Whitley Bay Warriors defenceman says it has allowed him extra time to strengthen his leg, despite the downside being a lack of ice time.

“It’s been a positive as it’s given me time to fully recover and strengthen my leg again. It’s also given me more time than usual to train and keep my fitness levels up,” he added.

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“The downside to this pandemic is that unfortunately the ice rinks had to close, so after being off the ice and not skating for almost nine months I have no idea how I will perform on the ice after my recovery.”

He added: “These circumstances have been hard on us all, as we have all had to adapt to things we are not used to.

“Personally I think it’s been a blessing in disguise as I have been able to spend more time with family.

“It’s also been really good in the aspect of it’s given me enough time to get my leg back to full strength, although it’s been hard with the lack of equipment due to the gyms not being open.

“Now things are starting to normalise again hopefully we can get back to a ‘normal’ off-season.”

Connolly joins Ethan James, Dan Scott, Jack Cooper, Sean Barry, Callum Wells, Aaron Connolly, Erik Piatak, Harry Gulliver, Brandon Ayliffe, Lukas Sladkovsky, Jake Sylvester, Ollie Baldock, JJ Pitchley, Tommy Huggett, Blaho Novak and Jacob Ranson on the Raiders roster.

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