Seb hoping for Raiders success

PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 October 2015

London Raiders forward Seb Downing celebrates his first goal for the club (pic: John Scott)

London Raiders forward Seb Downing celebrates his first goal for the club (pic: John Scott)


Downing delighted with life in London

Young British forward Seb Downing admits he is enjoying life with London Raiders so far this season and believes they can be a match for anyone.

Downing joined the Lee Valley-based club from fierce rivals Chelmsford during the summer and is currently their leading British goalscorer with six in seven matches.

And the 18-year-old, who played some of his junior hockey at the old Rom Valley Way rink in Romford, feels they can enjoy some success against Solent and Chelmsford this weekend.

He said: “We have just got to keep it simple, put pucks deep and drive them wide.

“Chelmsford are also a very fast team, but when we use our speed off the rush and get pucks deep I don’t think there is a team that can keep up with us.

“Our powerplay has been a lot better, getting a goal in every game since Cardiff, and we just need to make sure we back check and work hard for each other and things will go well for us.”

Raiders saw last Saturday’s cup tie with Chelmsford called off due to a lack of officials and they fell to a 6-2 league defeat against Milton Keynes the following night, after conceding three late goals.

Powerplay goals from import Marek Nahlik and stand-in skipper Frankie Harvey had the visitors in the hunt, before the Thunder struck three times in the last nine minutes.

Raiders were without the injured Michal Oravec and Downing was unable to make it on to the scoresheet for the second match in a row.

And the teenager was critical of his own efforts, adding: “Personally, I wasn’t good enough at all, but overall I didn’t think we played a bad game.

“Obviously it’s a bit of an adjustment to the big ice there against a fast MK team, but we are doing a lot of the hard things right.

“It’s just about making sure we do the simple things now and keep on working hard.”

Raiders should have their captain Tom Davis back from suspension this weekend as they welcome a Solent side with four points from their first four National League outings, before visiting a Chieftains outfit who have already beaten them 8-1 in cup action this term.

Alan Blyth’s men are due to face Downing’s old club eight times in league and cup play, but their young forward does not have any particular aims.

He said: “I haven’t got many personal targets apart from making sure I work hard and keep on contributing.

“But it would be nice to see us have a good play-off run, which we are more than capable of.

“So far it has been great. It’s nice to finally experience life with the Raiders and see how great the fan and club support is for myself.”

If Downing keeps showing the same sort of work ethic and eye for goal that he has displayed to now, he will hear more from those fans.

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