Raiders coach Easton eager to start the New Year where they left off at festive break
PUBLISHED: 11:00 05 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:57 01 February 2018
London Raiders coach Sean Easton is keen to get going again after having two weeks off for the festive period.
The Lee Valley-based club make the long trip to the Welsh capital to face basement club Cardiff Fire at Ice Arena Wales on Saturday (6.30pm), before returning to east London to take on high-flying Peterborough Phantoms on Sunday (5.30pm).
And they will be looking to extend a four-match winning run, with Easton, 31, saying: “We had a gym session with the boys and have been hitting the ice hard this week. No game is ideal after a two-week break, but we are looking forward to the second half of the season for many reasons.”
The coach has high hopes for the second half of their National League campaign, that will see the club relocating to Romford.
Raiders will be moving into their own rink, The Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre, next month, after spending four-and-a-half seasons playing at Lee Valley.
“With our new rink about to open it’s only days away before we commence a proper on-ice and off-ice training programme at our own rink and that will be huge for us,” added Easton.
“For five years they have trained once a week for an hour, this year we train twice a week – once at Chelmsford and once at Lee valley.
“It’s not easy being on the road all the time, borrowing someone’s rink and until players have been in that situation it’s hard to appreciate the little things.
“Hopefully all the players will return fresh faced and ready to continue where we left off.
“Every game now we should be looking for wins, no more settling for second best. We’ve now proved we belong in the top four and that’s where we want to be.”
The club will come against former goalie Euan King for the first time since his departure in November when they face Peterborough and Easton said: “‘Kinger’ is a professional, he won’t change his style or focus because he’s playing us, but he won’t be as loose as he normally is, it will play on his mind.”
The club will host a first-ever ‘Teddy Bear Toss’ in support of chosen charity The National Autistic Society, after the December, 3 clash was cancelled off due to problems with the ice.
“With it being a ‘Teddy Bear Toss game we want that first goal so the fans can throw their teddies at Kinger!” said Easton.