Coach Easton keen to start again after a disappointing start to Raiders campaign

PUBLISHED: 17:00 02 November 2018

Raiders forward Ashley Jackson in action against Swindon Wildcats (Pic: Kev Lamb)

Raiders forward Ashley Jackson in action against Swindon Wildcats (Pic: Kev Lamb)

Everyone Active Raiders head coach Sean Easton says there is plenty of hockey left to play after describing the start to their season as ‘disappointing’.

The Romford-based club head into a blank weekend having won five of their opening 13 fixtures and only one in their last six after defeats against Peterborough and Swindon last weekend.

But Easton is staying positive and wants to come back from his side’s break as if they’re starting a new season.

“There is still a lot of hockey to be played,” the 32-year-old said.

“Our season so far has been disappointing from a results point of view, we have had a couple of games where we were dire and lost. We’ve also had a few games where we have looked good but lost.

“The message after our week off will be to refocus and start again – new season, blank sheet.

“Our aim is to win the mini series against most teams, which can only see us rise up the table.”

The former Chelmsford Chieftains coach did reveal he made training optional this week to allow players to recover but had a good turn out anyway.

“As we have a weekend off, training was optional but 90 per cent turned up Tuesday for a skate which was good to see.”

He also feels losing forwards Ollie Baldock and Mason Webster has dampened his side’s chances so far this campaign.

“The injuries to Mason and Ollie set us back, it’s not until you miss players for a number of games you miss what they add to the team,” he added.

“Mason has a gritty style of play, he also has size and strength, which we can’t replace within the line-up.

“Ollie’s defensive play and calm head is exactly the same.

“We are at least now starting to see the return of them both as Ollie skated for the first time this week and Mason now has his cast off.”

The former defenceman welcomed the addition of forward and Olympic star Ashley Jackson, who played in their two games last weekend, picking up two assists.

“Ashley is a true professional, detailed in his game and a free set of eyes and legs for us,” added Easton.

“He has had a positive first weekend with us and will only help us in the long run.”

Raiders will not return to action until they welcome strugglers Invicta Dynamos on Saturday, November 10.

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