Former Raider Buckman relishing Romford clash
PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 February 2019
Everyone Active Raiders are set to welcome third-placed Peterborough Phantoms to Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Sunday (5.30pm).
It is their only game of the weekend in National League Division One after back-to-back wins over Invicta and Streatham and they will be hoping to redress the balance having lost their earlier home meeting with the Phantoms this season.
But former Raiders utility man Jason Buckman is again plotting their downfall, as assistant coach to Slava Koulikov at Peterborough, who visit Streatham on Saturday.
And he said: “I’m really looking forward to Sunday’s game in Romford. I’ve only been there once this year and it was very close game with us winning 3-2.
“Raiders have really stepped it up again this year and after adding some quality players in the summer they are team we need to play a strong road game against.
“Obviously as a former player and now coach I know how difficult it can be against any Romford team. The uncertainty of the future is now behind them with the great facility they have there now.
“And they have really pushed on and given top teams some issues this year in the league.”
Buckman played a total of 226 games in a Raiders jersey from 2009 to 2014, which puts him among the top 20 appearance-makers in club history.
And he scored 121 points (20 goals, 101 assists) in that time while winning English League and Cup honours under former player-coach Danny Marshall, before returning to his home-town club.
And having finally called time on his own playing career, Buckman – who played for the Raiders Legends in a special match last August – is now enjoying life on the bench alongside Koulikov.
He added: “Slava and I often discuss the Raiders team and how they get their success and it’s something we get the team working on whenever this fixture comes around.
“It’s getting to the business end of the season and the guys know Raiders are a team that come to play, so our guys are aware to be ready for a battle.”
Raiders won 3-2 in Peterborough when the sides first met this season, thanks to a last-second winner from Aaron Connolly in overtime.
But they lost 5-2 and 7-1 on subsequent visits and also suffered that 3-2 defeat on home ice.