2 more returnees for Raiders

London Raiders have announced the return of two more players as they continued their team-building plans for the 2016/17 season.

Defenceman John Connolly has agreed to stay in a gold and blue jersey, having joined from Chelmsford midway through the last campaign.

And young forward Bailey Chittock, a former Chelmsford junior, will also be back at Lee Valley after a breakthrough year with Raiders.

Former GB under-18 and under-20 international Connolly, 25, has played in Texas, Mexico and Kazakhstan, as well as for British clubs Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dumfries, Manchester, Milton Keynes and Slough.

And Raiders were keen to keep hold of such an experienced player as club statement said: “John’s return was a must-have for Raiders management and the discussions were quick and simple.

“John’s unusual tour of teams has seen him ice and receive plaudits at Elite, EPL and NIHLS and NIHLN. At this level, with Solway, Chelmsford and London he has played just in excess of 100 games and averaged a point a game.”

Connolly is excited by the challenge of helping Raiders climb the table, adding: “I’m really looking forward to the new season now that I’ve signed back at the Raiders.

“It’s a great team to play for. We look like a new and improved team from last year and will be a hard team to play against.”

Connolly will line up alongisde Julian Smith, Jack Cooper and Matt France on the blue line, while Chittock joins fellow forwards Tom Davis, Jacob Ranson, JJ Pitchley and Kamil Kinkor.

“Last season was a sound starting point in his gold and blue career, but we sense the early season injury robbed us of the best of Bailey,” added the club statement.

“Bailey returned to the ice without missing a game despite some fairly serious facial/dental damage and progressively re-established his game and we can’t wait to get a full season.

“It is easy to forget he is still just 19 and if he can get his game back onto the progression path he has shown he is capable of, Bailey should be in for a great season.”

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