Up Close And Personal With……………AJ Smith
The Romford Raider Facebook page is delighted to keep some post season momentumgoing with its on-going articles straight from the mouths of the players themselves. Weclearly hope there is some relevance here and that the featured players are set toreturn to the Gold and Blue, wherever that may be and whatever the shade of thosecolours are. We are not so fickle to forget you guys just because pastures new beckon,and we hope in the near future to have a few golden oldies on the books for you aswell. Any requests, please pm on the facebook front page.Back to the star of this interview, AJ Smith.First things first, is it AJ, Smithy, Adam? What do you prefer?AJI prefer AJ but I get called everything, I’ve got a couple of mates outside hockeythat call me Smithy and my family call me Adam and it’s Adam at work as well. Oh andBombers Mrs, Clare insists on calling me Adam too…Normal question then, when did you first skate, where, and how did you get on?.....anatural?AJI think I was 4 or 5 the first time I went skating at RVW. I took to it pretty quick andremember by the end of my first time I was skating around in the middle while myparents were still clinging to the boards.How did that visit come about?AJI can’t remember to be honest.You grew up pretty close to RVW, so I guess the Romford Junior system was a naturalprogression in the interest in the sport. Any persuasion needed to get you there? Is afamily member responsible?AJYeah I grew up in Elm Park less than a 5 minute drive from the rink. Both myparents were responsible for me starting hockey, they used to take me to watch theRaiders as a young kid and when I was 6 I started training and never looked back.How many of the junior teams did you ice for? Any trophies in that time?AJI iced for the U10’s, U12’s, U14’s and U16’s at Romford before I left. I can’t reallyremember any specific titles but I’m sure there must have been a few league winsalong the way and a few top points scorer trophies too. You can find them now oneBay…Who of the present squad and better known Raiders would you have appearedalongside in those early years?AJThere’s no current Raiders from my exact age group but I played up with the likes of Grant Taylor, JJ McGrath, Anthony Leone and Stuart Low. Dave Oliver was comingalong just a couple years younger than me. I also played South East for my whole junior career with a certain young lad from Peterborough called Julian Smith so weknew each other well when we both signed for the Raiders.