Hard-working Ranson looks to lift Raiders, inspired by Last Dance during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 19:00 16 July 2020

Raiders forward Jacob Ranson rushes up ice with the puck (Pic: Kev Lamb)

Raiders forward Jacob Ranson rushes up ice with the puck (Pic: Kev Lamb)

© Lambpix

Jacob Ranson admitted to weirdly enjoying the UK lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, after re-signing for Everyone Active Raiders.

Raiders forward Jacob Ranson (pic John Scott)Raiders forward Jacob Ranson (pic John Scott)

The 24-year-old, the club’s 14th summer signing, has been taking inspiration from the hit Netflix series ‘The Last Dance’ featuring basketball legend Michael Jordan and working hard to get back to full fitness.

And the 2014-15 Raider of the Year hopes he can be flying once the 2020-21 Natioal League season gets underway, once safe to do so.

“At first I was thinking how much I would miss everyday life, but I’ve actually embraced the whole thing, I’ve been spending more time with family than ever, which has been nice,” said Ranson.

“I’ve been working hard, walking every day on my lunch break while working from home throughout, and doing at least one workout a day, but most days doing two workouts.

“Although very cliché ‘The Last Dance’ on Netflix inspired me to get back to my top level of fitness as last season I signed late in the summer and probably wasn’t as prepared as I usually am, so I’ve used this time to get ready.

“I’ve also been very lucky during this crisis to get to some football matches, which has been strange to say the least with no atmosphere, so I don’t want any quiet games at the Sapphire next season, that’s for sure!”

Ranson, who played in Romford’s junior ranks at Rom Valley Way before spending four years in Canada and Sweden, also felt last season, in which he appeared in all 52 matches and scored five goals and two assists, was a strange one for him personally and is looking to step up more next term.

“Last season was a strange one for me. I started slower than I would’ve liked, but I started to find my feet as the season progressed,” he added.

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“I ended up playing on D for a number of games as well, which I actually really enjoyed and it gave me a different perspective on the opposition and even how we play as a team.

“The level of hockey was brilliant and I feel I adapted to the level, but now I want to show my energy, speed and, of course, be more irritating to the opposition this season.”

Ranson, who joined late last summer from Streatham and has now made 137 appearances in total for his home-town club with 25 goals and 15 assists, is delighted to hear that ice rinks could potentially be open again on July 25 after the latest government guidelines were announced.

“I think this is the most I’ve missed being on the ice in a long time and I can’t wait to get back out there,” he said.

“I’ve done some roller blading, but nothing compares to stepping out on the ice, so I’m pretty sure I’ll feel like a kid at Christmas when we can finally get back training.

“Hopefully the season’s start date will not be delayed too much either.”

The sports journalist is expecting the upcoming season to be even more competitive as he has been keeping a close eye on signings made by rival clubs.

“I think this season could be even more interesting with Leeds strengthening massively by the sounds of things,” he said.

“Milton Keynes have made some big moves, while a lot of the other teams have kept a similar core to their teams.

“Hopefully we can try find more consistency and push on this season, but I think the key element other than consistency will be hard work. No matter how good some teams are you can always grind them down.”

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