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Blyth: Lessons learnt for London Raiders

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 April 2017

London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley attacks against Chelmsford (pic John Scott)

London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley attacks against Chelmsford (pic John Scott)

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Coach reflects on campaign after play-off exit

London Raiders goalie Euan King was named among the National League's all-star teams for the 2016-17 season (pic John Scott)London Raiders goalie Euan King was named among the National League's all-star teams for the 2016-17 season (pic John Scott)

London Raiders coach Alan Blyth says lessons will be learnt after seeing his side’s season come to an end last weekend.

Raiders lost 16-4 on aggregate to Chelmsford in the National League play-off semi-finals, having finished fifth during the regular season and reached the cup semi-finals.

Blyth said: “There are plenty of lessons to be learnt from this season. I hold my hands up and admit to my mistakes, but I will honestly say every decision I make has been in the best interests of this team.

“This goes for past decisions and ones that have been made for the future as well. I am confident next season we will be stronger, more determined and ready for that journey back to Romford.”

Blyth paid tribute to his current and former players for their efforts in gold and blue and also thanked support staff, adding: “I’d like to thank each and every player that gave me their all throughout the season. Putting their body on the line and playing through the pain barrier week in, week out.

“We only had a small squad but we had a huge heart. To all the players that did not last the season with us and departed for one reason or another, I hope they enjoyed their time with us and hope no hard feelings are carried forward.

“Special mention to Kev Davis, a true star for this team, who keeps us on the ice week after week, team manager, equipment manager, bus driver, the list goes on. Without Kev this wouldn’t be possible.

“And to Michelle, what can we say? You have taken some stick this season, you have been a gem to work with, always willing to lend a hand and get the guys back on the ice. There for training nights, match days and taking on the role as chief media relations officer.”

Finally, Blyth also thanked the loyal fans who continue to travel to Lee Valley for hoome fixtures, while the new rink is being built in the town centre.

“The supporters have been awesome once again,” he said. “I know there have been moments some of us have not seen eye to eye, but that’s sport. Passion is a good thing and no one likes to lose. You truly are the best out there and you show that week after week.

“Preparations for 2017-18 are underway, but lets let the other teams get the finals out of the way and end of season awards night, then we will get the announcements underway.”

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