Ice hockey: Former Raider Ranson relishing Abu Dhabi trip
PUBLISHED: 14:30 30 March 2018
Archant London sports reporter and former Raider of the Year Jacob Ranson jets off to Abu Dhabi to play in the Arab Cup this weekend, writes Lee Power.
Ranson, 22, will be part of the Algerian team – Algiers Corsaires – that faces teams from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon and the UAE at the event, due to be televised on the Abu Dhabi sports channel next month.
And the former Raiders forward, who has spent the last two seasons at Streatham, is excited by the opportunity as he looks to fulfil a dream of playing in multiple countries.
Ranson played in Canada for the Pursuit of Excellence Ice Hockey Academy and also spent a season playing for Mjolby IHC in Sweden.
He said: “I’m over the moon to have been given this opportunity to go play in Abu Dhabi and tick off another country that I’ve played in.
“I honestly can’t wait to get out there and enjoy the whole experience.”
The Corsaires will play three group-stage games before the tournament goes into the semi-finals.
And former Albany School pupil Ranson is hoping his side can do well and progress all the way to the final.
“The goal is always to go on the ice to win, so hopefully that’s what we can do, when we take to the ice,” he added.
“It would be an amazing feeling to win the whole thing and come back a champion.”
The fast-skating forward is also extremely excited to see the standard of hockey and see if there is anywhere he can help the Algerian promote the sport in their country.
“Former Lee Valley Lions player Karim Kerbouche, who is head of Algerian ice hockey, gave me the opportunity to come along and I want to not only enjoy the experience but help him promote the sport in his country,” added Ranson.
“He’s been working hard to build the sport up in his native country and it would be an amazing feeling to see it grow in the future.”
Ranson will be writing a blog while in Abu Dhabi and is also planning to take plenty of pictures and videos.
You will be able to follow his and the team’s progress in Abu Dhabi via his Twitter account @jacobranson27 and also on the Recorder website.