Plenty of positives to take in Raiders pre-season games says assistant captain Barry

Defenceman Sean Barry celebrates a goal with his team-mates (Pic: John Scott)

Defenceman Sean Barry celebrates a goal with his team-mates (Pic: John Scott) - Credit: Archant

Newly-appointed Everyone Active Raiders assistant captain Sean Barry says they can take plenty of positives out their two pre-season matches.

Blahoslav Novak on the rush against Bracknell Bees (Pic: John Scott)

Blahoslav Novak on the rush against Bracknell Bees (Pic: John Scott) - Credit: Archant

Head coach Sean Easton saw his side suffer a narrow 5-4 defeat to Bracknell Bees on Saturday before storming to a 7-1 victory the following night over the same opponents in Romford.

And the 25-year-old defenceman insists Raiders must build on what went well as they head into the new National League season this weekend.

"Overall I thought it was a good weekend for us," said Barry.

"We can take plenty of positives from the games especially Sunday. There were lots of positives and it seems to be a much better atmosphere around the room this season."

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Raiders were 1-0 down after nine seconds at the John Nike Leisure Centre on Saturday before losing young netminder Brad Windebank to injury.

But Barry felt they grew into the game as they almost pulled it back, with Blahoslav Novak netting a pair of goals, and that then continued into the following night's performance.

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Braces from new import Lukas Sladkovsky and captain Aaron Connolly as well as goals from Jake Sylvester, Brandon Ayliffe and Barry himself sealed the win at the Sapphire.

"We started off slow, I think we conceded in the first nine seconds, but as the game progressed we got better and better," added Barry.

"I think the Sapphire this season will be a fortress for us as teams will struggle to play there as we have found out the past couple of seasons."

With last season's assistant captains Julian Smith and John Connolly leaving to join local rivals Chelmsford Chieftains, Barry and fellow blue-liner Dan Scott have been handed leadership roles alongside skipper Aaron Connolly for the upcoming season.

And Barry was delighted to accept the new position, adding: "When Sean gave me the call and told me I was pretty excited about it. It's an extra responsibility on and off the ice, but I'm looking forward to the challenge."

Raiders start their campaign this weekend away to Swindon Wildcats on Saturday, before returning home to take on Basingstoke Bison on Sunday.

They will be without import Marek Malinsky and netminder Windebank who are sidelined through injury while Mason Webster remains a doubt.

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