Raiders are happy to welcome back Current GB Under 18 international Callum Burnett for his third season in the Gold and Blue. Callum the first player born in the 21st century to make a Raiders appearance returns to the Gold and Blue having played in the 2018 World Championship Gold winning Great Britain Under 18 team.
Defenceman Callum made 44 appearances (taking him to 60 appearances in total) for the Raiders last season. Callum made his Raiders debut in an NIHL league game at Invicta in January 2017 and went on to make 16 appearances in all competitions for the Raiders that season , scoring once, the Raiders 4th goal in a 4-4 draw at Bracknell Hornets.
Callum started his junior career at Rom Valley Way but following the closure of the Romford rink, Callum moved to Slough Jets to progress through their junior ranks. Last season in addition to his Raiders appearances, Callum also made 11 appearances for Chelmsford Under 18 Mohawks, scoring four goals and eight assists for 12 points. Callum has also making appearances each year for South East in the Inter Regional Conference, captaining the team in 2018.
Callum has also made 13 tournament appearances for Great Britain Under 16s, scoring twice with assists on two further goals.
Still just 17 Callum demonstrated great abilities and a cool head under pressure and the Raiders are committed to continue Callum’s development into senior hockey. The existence of the Raiders division 2 team is ideal in being able to offer developing players more ice time at senior level and Callum’s playing minutes will be maximised by having him appear in both the Div 1 and Div 2 squads according to the fixtures overlap in both leagues. That together with under 18 duties will see the GB gold medallist progress as quickly as possible and demonstrates the value of the greatly missed junior and development opportunities denied whilst Raiders were missing a true home venue.
Raiders CEO John Scott Commented on two way arrangements between Division 1 and Division 2 teams stating “It is a formula that has worked with many of the present Raiders senior squad including Brandon, Jake and Ollie and even as far back as Matt Turner (sorry Matt!) so if something isn’t broken we won’t be trying to fix it. “
Sean was more precise with the value of the arrangements that Callum will be playing under.
“Callum is going to have a busy year next season competing with juniors, NIHLS2 and Raiders. I always feel it’s important to maximise ice time in an environment where a player can execute skills before they can be confident and a complete player at the higher level.
“We know Callum can hold his own at NIHLS1 but while he is young we can develop his game further to become a more rounded player by being able to try and demonstrate different areas of his game in a less pressured environment. It also allows him to be a lead guy in the NIHLS2 team where I want to see him get the good game minutes and play on special teams, thing we can’t offer him yet at Raiders.
“Callum soaks up information, it’s now about being able to practise and execute this in a lower pressured game but still playing against good talent.”
Welcome back Callum in what will hopefully be a long and productive time in the senior Raiders colours.