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Raiders Novak expecting a 'quality' double header with former club Telford Tigers

PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 November 2019

Raiders forward Blahoslav Novak fires a shot on goal against Basingstoke Bison (Pic: John Scott)

Raiders forward Blahoslav Novak fires a shot on goal against Basingstoke Bison (Pic: John Scott)

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Everyone Active Raiders forward Blahoslav Novak is expecting a 'quality' weekend of hockey against his former club Telford Tigers.

Raiders celebrate a goal against Basingstoke Bison (Pic: John Scott)Raiders celebrate a goal against Basingstoke Bison (Pic: John Scott)

Sean Easton's outfit will welcome the National League leaders to the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Saturday (5.15pm face-off) before making the trip north the following night as they look to go against the odds.

Novak spent two seasons with the Tigers from 2014 to 2016 and during that time they were crowned champions of the now defunct English Premier League, alongside now Raiders defenceman Dan Scott.

"A double-header against the Tigers, that will bring two good games, and I'm now expecting nothing but quality hockey which is great for the fans to witness," said Novak.

The 26-year-old expects both clashes to be tough tests as the Tigers have got off to a strong start to the campaign.

Raiders Blahoslav Novak and Aaron Connolly battle for the ball against Basingstoke (Pic: John Scott)Raiders Blahoslav Novak and Aaron Connolly battle for the ball against Basingstoke (Pic: John Scott)

They have met already this season which resulted in Tom Watkins' men leaving 8-3 winners despite a real strong start from Raiders at the Sapphire.

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"They're top of the league for a reason," the Slovakian-native said. "Our last meeting against them was at the beginning of the season and at that time every team was still finding their feet or looking to improve their game.

"I think we played better for the first half of the game, but then they turned their game around and beat us quite comfortably."

The former Chelmsford junior refused to pin-point any of his former team-mates as danger men as he believes they play well as a unit and have a number of players who can do the damage.

"I won't pick a danger man as their strength is within the whole squad, although it is mainly the more experienced guys," he said

Tigers bolster a squad that include a few links to the Raiders as they have former forward Scott McKenzie while also having club legend Dave Whistle's son Brandon in their line-up.

Raiders head into the clash on the back of a three-point weekend and Novak insisted it is vital to keep progressing as a team.

"It's very important that we keep progressing in our performances," he added.

"This weekend is going to be a tough test for us against the leaders, but we will make sure we bring our best to both games, and if we all buy in we can come away with a four-point weekend."

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