Raiders are delighted to welcome back yet another product of the former Romford development system as 24 year old Jack Cooper returns for his eighth season in the senior squad. Number 14 has been a regular subject of discussion in the stands regarding his year-on-year improvements previously witnessed by best defenceman honours at the end of season awards.
Jack has made 268 Raiders appearances since his debut against Chelmsford Chieftains at Lee Valley in November 2014 . He has an all-time appearance ranking of 14th and has scored three goals and 34 assists (for an all time scoring ranking of 124th).
He is also a 2 time Raiders “Ironman” in season 2017/18 and 2018/19, and a two time club record holder setting club records for most appearances having made a record of 157 consecutive appearances. He has missed just one game in the past four years.
Jack is also the club record holder for the most appearances by a player excluding netminders before scoring, having made 117 appearances for Raiders before scoring against Invicta in October 2017. But we are not holding this against him!
Jack started his senior career with Romford Fury in NIHL2 making 17 appearances scoring 2 + 2 before the closure of Rom Valley Way. He then moved to Haringey Racers where he made 26 appearances scoring 5+5 before accepting the call back to his “home” club during team rearrangements of 2014.
Jack enjoyed his “Spring Break” from the Covid hit hockey season:-
“I feel like as a team it didn’t take us long to get back into the swing of things. Everyone had missed time on the ice so we were all in the same boat I guess. Losing Scotty so early put some pressure on us. He’s a big part of our defensive core and I guy I look up to. I have learned much off Scotty since he joined the Raiders. I think we did well to cover for Scotty whilst his injury got better.
“Playing against guys that are considered the best in the country was a massive learning experience for us all. The game is played much faster and you have less time to think of your next move. I think that even though it was only a 2 month season, I have gained loads of experience and improved my game. It will be good to see how we come up against the teams in our league now. I think we will start the season flying.”
And on the feel of this season’s squad, announced and yet to come:-
“Seeing so many players that I’ve developed with through the Romford Junior System is great. We have all spent many years together so there’s already that chemistry off and on the ice. When you’re in season mode, you spend so much time with your team mates it’s like having another family and you wouldn’t think twice about sticking up for the guy next to you.
“I’m looking forward to actually having a whole season to look forward to and prepare for. And hopefully have fans back in the rink. It was great to be able to step out on the ice again but it definitely missed the crowd noise. Look forward to hearing our rink booming with chants once again; it definitely helps us on the ice.”
Sean agrees with the fans discussion as he added:-
“Long serving D man Jack Cooper keeps impressing year on year. Coops is a rock in his defensive responsibility. A no thrills D man who will do the simple things perfectly every time.
“Jack may not appear regularly on the score sheet but takes pride in making sure he is not on the ice for a goal against and every team needs that D man that won’t take risks but takes pride in their defensive duties.”
Welcome back Jack. It is going to be a loud first game back at the Sapphire.