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Injury-hit Raiders face tough clashes with Wildcats and Chiefs

PUBLISHED: 15:18 02 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:18 02 January 2020

Raiders defenceman Jack Cooper in action against Swindon Wildcats (Pic: John Scott)

Raiders defenceman Jack Cooper in action against Swindon Wildcats (Pic: John Scott)

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Injury-hit Everyone Active Raiders start the new decade with a ‘tough’ double header this weekend says defenceman Jack Cooper.

Sean Easton's men will make the trip to one of the title favourites Swindon Wildcats on Saturday before returning home to the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre where they welcome strugglers Leeds Chiefs the following night (5.15pm face-off).

But Raiders face a tough task with the injury list slowly building up as Ross Connolly, Brad Windebank and Callum Burnett are all out long-term while Michael Gray and JJ Pitchley have missed out in recent weeks.

Utility man Jack Flynn also took a nasty hit last weekend which could make him a doubt for this weekend and forward Mason Webster still has two games left on his six-game suspension.

"It's going to be another tough weekend," the 23-year-old said.

"We're playing well at the moment so we need to keep that momentum going, as we know we're capable of beating both teams."

The former Romford junior did reveal it is tough right now as they continue to pick up injuries and knocks with the hectic fixture list.

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"Having a short bench is always tough, but we're coping," he added.

"We just need to keep to having short shifts and work as one unit to get us through this tricky period."

Romford Junior Raiders will return to action after an extended Christmas break with a home fixture against strugglers Cardiff Fire on Saturday, before they then make the trip across the capital to Streatham the following night.

Young duo Tommy Huggett and Ewan Hill will be full of confidence heading into those clashes after being named in the Great Britain under-18 squad over the festive period for the World Championships in Estonia later this year.

Forwards Hill and Huggett are included in a 22-strong party for the Division Two Group A event in Tallinn from March 22-28.

Injured duo Dan Hitchings and Raiders first-team goalie Brad Windebank have also been named on a reserves long list but whether they will return to fitness or be called upon is a different story.

Ellie Wakeling and the GB under-18 women's team began their own World Championship Division One B quest in Poland this week.

They faced China yesterday (Thursday), meet Korea today and also play Norway, Austria and hosts Poland in Katowice.

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