1 returnee and 1 new face for the Raiders
Firstly, apologies for the lack of updates on the Raiders website, due to a mixture of work commitments and a holiday! Thankfully the official facebook page has kept you up to date.
While the site was not being updated we managed to sign 2 players for the upcoming season, 1 returnee and 1 new face.
The London Raiders are delighted to welcome back to the team for 2016/2017 popular forward Sam Roberts.
Sam joined the team from division 2 Haringey were he had provided 38 points in 38 games over 2 seasons. Before that, 2 seasons with the Romford Fury were rewarded with 39 points in 38 games suggesting a steady and consistent output from the now 27 year old. Sam started out in Roller hockey so in ice hockey terms is remarkably new to the sport and those figures are impressive in that context.
Stepping up a league predictably saw a reduction in ice time reflected in a 10 point haul over 38 games but Raiders management saw what they needed to, to request a return for the coming season and feel sure that Sam will feature more on the score sheets this season with greater ice time.
Sam had many great games for the Raiders last season and we aim to get that level across more of the season this year. We know about his great work rate, attitude and powerful shot and want him to have the opportunity to show more of that.
Sam agreed with that basic assessment as he added.
â€œIâ€™m excited to get back on the ice with the lads and hopefully improve from last year, which was a massive learning curve for me. I learnt a lot from some of our key players and coach that hopefully I can bring into my game this year.
â€œMoving up a league was a massive step for me in my short 4 year ice campaign but improving every year. I just want to prove that I can be part of the team and show the players and coaching staff and fans that i should be in this league. Letâ€™s go Raiders!!
Welcome back to the Gold and Blue Sam
The next signing will be very much unexpected to most of the fans, but those that make a habit of following the EPIHL for and up and coming talent will probably recognise the name.
At just 19 this young forward satisfies the managementâ€™s desire to bring young blood into the team but this particular teenager joins the Raiders after a 52 game campaign with EPLâ€™s Bracknell Bees. In a difficult season for the Bees he managed to to put up 7 points which as a stat in isolation isnâ€™t stunning. However these figures viewed in comparison with recent ex EPL playersâ€™ figures at the same age (who then played for the Raiders) suggest he will prove to be a valuable addition to the Raiders.
â€œHe has good speed and puck control for his ageâ€ according to his Bracknell team report and â€œgives 100% effort every shift and at under 18 level had a keen eye for goalâ€. His last under 18 season saw him scoring 33 points in 15 games whilst also managing 3 points in 6 games with the Bees in the EPL that season.
Alan Blyth commented that â€œthis is a player I have known about for a number of years from my days in charge of the junior set up at Rom Valley Way. I wonâ€™t let on too much but I am sure we wonâ€™t be disappointed when we see him in the Gold and Blue. His experience of EPL Hockey and an experienced head on young shoulder are exactly what we needed to add to our line up.
Thomas (Ziggy) Beesley is the name on the next 3 shirts available for sponsorship and his move to study at Greenwich is our good fortune as a transfer to the Raiders fits perfectly for the student of Business Management.
Ziggy commented â€œ’I’m pleased to be on board, and am looking forward to meeting the guys and getting the season underwayâ€.
The Raiders are certainly hoping Ziggy turns out to be our star man and it would be a bonus if he attracted some Sponsors from Mars.
Thanks to the Bracknell organisation for their cooperation with this move and also the words on Ziggyâ€™s performances with them.