To get the puck sliding Raiders are pleased to welcome back to the Gold and Blue after eleven seasons away, 30 year old netminder Ben Clements. Ben comes out of one of the shortest playing retirement have stopped playing to coach Chelmsford Chieftains Division 2 team last season.
Ben’s junior career was spent in Chelmsford, during which time he made his senior debut for the Chieftains at 17 years of age. In 2006 Ben moved to Rom Valley Way where he iced regularly for the Spitfires for two seasons, and he dressed for the Raiders on six occasions. At the end of that season, Ben moved back to Chelmsford where he iced regularly for nine seasons, winning eight championships, and cup and play off medals. During this time his save percentage exceeded 90% every year, peaking in 2013/14 with a 93.8 save percentage, conceding 1.5 goals per game.
Ben explains his rapid return from retirement and what he expects at Romford.
“ I’m really looking forward to getting the pads back on after a season out. I enjoyed coaching but I really missed playing the game and I’m excited to be joining the Raiders. Once I had spoken to Sean about his plans it was a no brainer for me especially with the team he is building.
“ I believe we have a got a great shot at some silverware this season. I always remember playing at the old Rom Valley rink and what great atmosphere there was and after speaking to a few of the lads they have told me the new rink tops that so I can’t wait to get started come September”
Sean Easton worked with Ben for many seasons and clearly sees last season’s retirement as premature for Clemmer and sees the pairing with Michael Gray as a potentially powerful combination.
“ Zach done a fantastic job last season when called upon, but I felt we needed two starting goalies experience to push each other on to be better. It gives us options and to be able to rest a goalie and have depth in that department. Ben is a team guy and knows what it takes to win trophies. “
The Div 2 team will of course provide even greater emergency cover should either of the Raiders net-minders be unavailable or injured.