17 year old Netminder Brad Windebank steps up from being the regular Raiders 2 netminder to replace the departed Ben Clements and to hopefully start a legacy that will in time rival that of Michael Grays.
Last season Brad played a pivotal role in the Raiders NIHL2 team, earning recognition from players around the league in being voted to the League All Star second team. Brad missed just one game for Raiders 2 (due to a Raiders 1 call up) being in the net for 1483 minutes facing 987 shots conceding 99 goals for a 89.97% save percentage. Brad also spent 110 minutes in the net for Raiders 1 conceding 3 goals from 50 shots for a 94% save percentage. Brad also made six league appearances for the Raiders Under 18 team and had a 98.7% save percentage.
Brad played his junior hockey for Romford until RVW closed down; and played three seasons in the Chelmsford junior organisation, two at Under 15 and last season at Under 18 Brad has had a save percentage exceeding 90% , with a best of 93.5% in his final Under 15 season.
Brad has been a regular in the South East Regional team at every age group winning the tournament MVP at Under 11. He has made six appearances for England Under 13 in Pee Wee competitions, and has made five Great Britain Under 16 appearances in two tournaments where he produced a save percentage exceeding 95% in both.
Raiders are delighted to announce the return of Players’ Player of the Year Michael Gray for his tenth season in Gold and Blue. A regular “man of the match” award winner last season, and arguably missing out on a few more in the eyes of many, Michael’s popular return was in little doubt in the eyes of Raiders management.
Last season, Michael made 45 appearances for the Raiders, spending 1859 minutes between the pipes, facing 1192 shots conceding 109 goals for a 90.86 save percentage.
Michael’s return for the Gold and Blue will extend all club netminding records (netminding minutes; appearances, shots faced; saves) that he currently holds. Michael has made 294 appearances for the Raiders (12th position overall) and 117 more than the second best appearance record for a netminder (Russ Jackson).
To date he has spent 13635 minutes between the pipes for the Raiders, has faced 8550 shots and conceded 857 goals for a 89.98 save percentage. In addition Michael appeared for Romford Spitfires in seasons 2006/07 and 2008/09 making 21 appearances for a 88% save percentage
Michael played most of his junior career in the Slough organisation where he made his senior debut for Sough Harrier Hawks at 14 years of age. After a spell playing for Chelmsford Under 19s, he moved to play for Romford’s second team (Spitfires) and the Under 19 Buccaneers.
Michael subsequently had a season icing for Streatham Redskins and apart from a brief spell at Invicta Dynamos and a season not icing, Michael has iced for Romford / London Raiders and Romford Spitfires since 2006.
Raiders are happy to welcome back Current GB Under 18 international Callum Burnett for his fourth season 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 Under 18 World Championships for Great Britain in both of the past two seasons making 9 appearances. He also played for England Under 19 in the annual challenge against Scotland last season.
Defenceman Callum made 19 appearances (tasking him to 79 appearances in total and 97th position in overall appearances) for the Raiders last season scoring five assists. In addition he made 23 appearances for Raiders 2 scoring four goals and 10 assists for 14 points. Callum also found time to make four appearances for Raiders Juniors Under 18 scoring twice.
Callum made his Raiders debut in an NIHL league game at Invicta in January 2017 and later that season scored his only Raiders 1 goal, 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. In season 2017/18, Callum moved to Chelmsford making 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.
Surprisingly well travelled Defenseman Ross Connolly previously iced for Gold & Blue at Lee Valley in the 2016/17 season making 17 appearances, scoring one goal and eight assists for nine points showing a keen eye for joining the play to support the forwards.
Ross joins the Raiders from Whitley Warriors for whom he made 30 NIHL North 1 appearances last season scoring two goals and 12 assists for 14 points. His other senior appearances in the UK came with 25 appearances for Solway Sharks when he scored one goal and four assists for five points; and nine appearances for Invicta Dynamos in 2017/18.
Ross moved to Greater Metro Hockey League in Canada making a couple of appearances for Tottenham Steam before moving to Temiscaming Titans who are based in Quebec. Ross made a total of 31 appearances for the titans scoring 13 assists. Following his spell with London Raiders, Ross went to play in Western State Hockey League (WSHL) for Casper Coyotes where he made 19 appearances scoring five assists before returning to UK.
23 year old Jack Cooper returns for what will be surprisingly his sixth season for the Gold and Blue since joining from Haringey Racers.
Jack progressed through the Romford junior system, making 72 appearances, scoring 35 goals and 35 assists for 70 points, and started his senior career with Romford Fury in NIHL2 making 17 appearances scoring 2 + 2. With the closure of Rom Valley Way, Jack moved to Haringey to ice for the Racers in NIHL2 making 26 appearances scoring 5+5., and wore the “A” in his second season.
Last season Jack was a Raider’s “Ironman” but in his case for a second consecutive season playing in all Raiders 48 games, and taking his unbroken run of appearances to 116 games dating back to 17th December 2016. Last season Jack failed to light the lamp but assisted on six Raiders goals.
In total Jack has made 205 Raiders appearances since his debut against Chelmsford Chieftains at Lee Valley, giving him an all time appearance ranking of 22 and has scored two goals and 30 assists (for an all time scoring ranking of 130.
It will be defenseman Sean Barry’s third season for the Raiders having first won over the G&B fans in the 2017-2018 campaign when the 4 ex EPL teams dropped into NIHLS1.
The 25 year old progressed to the Raiders through the Chelmsford junior system before making his senior debut for the Warriors at the age of 16, for whom he went on to make 46 appearances in total picking up 17 assists.
He made his Chieftains debut at the age of 18 in 2012/13 and had been a permanent fixture on the Chelmsford defence thereafter including being ever present in two consecutive seasons. During that time Sean picked up 4 consecutive NIHLS1 league winners medals as well as play-off and cup competition medals. In total Sean made 160 Chieftain appearances scoring 4 goals and picking up 50 assists for 54 points before his move to the Raiders.
Last season Sean missed just two league games in making 46 appearances, scoring three goals and 15 assists for 18 points. In total Sean has now made 90 appearances for the Raiders (ranked 82nd in all time appearances), scoring 6 goals and 29 assists for 35 points (ranked 124th in all time scorers).
Sean’s ability to join the advancing plays with his now familiar rushing style has led to a number of important goals with some equally impressive celebrations when he does score and Raiders fans and management will be looking forward to more of the same in 2019-2020.
Raiders are also to welcome back 21 year old Olegs Lascenko after a year away from the Raiders whilst playing for his birth town team Liepaja, Latvia for whom he made 23 appearances last season scoring one goal and one assist as a Dman.
Olegs played junior hockey at Rom Valley Way for four seasons initially as a D man, culminating with 71 goals and 56 assists for 127 points for the Buccaneers Under 18 and Hornets Under 16 teams in season 2012/13.
After a season in the Chelmsford junior system after the old Romford rink was closed, Olegs returned to Latvia progressing through the Liepaja Under 18, second and first teams in two seasons, winning a league winners medal in 2014/15.
He returned to the UK in January 16 to play for Sean Easton’s Chelmsford Chieftains scoring 12 + 5 for 17 points in 22 appearances. He started the following season at Chelmsford before stepping up to the EPL with Bracknell Bees making 45 appearances and scoring 8+10 for 18 points before returning to Raiders.
Olegs played the 2017/18 season for the Raiders scoring 15 goals and 28 assists for 43 points in 44 appearances, but most memorable of those goals will probably be the one on 3rd February 2018 in the tense game against Cardiff which was the first scored by a Raiders player in the Sapphire.
Jacob Ranson returns home for another season in the Gold and Blue
23 year old forward Lukas Sladkovsky joins the Raiders having split last season between HC Orlova and HC Tabor both of whom play in Czech Division 3 scoring a total of 13 goals and 14 assists for 27 points. Lukas is 6 foot 1 inch 187lb and shoots left handed.
Lukas played the majority of his junior career for Sparta Prague averaging a point a game at Under 16 and Under 18 levels. For their Under 20 team, Lukas made 53 appearances scoring 23 goals and 7 assists for 30 points.
Lukas also had a season in GMHL League in Ontario Canada for Bracebridge Phantoms scoring 21 goals and 27 assists for 48 points. In 2014/15 he had half a season in German NL2 for Landshut Under 19 averaging nearly 1.5 points per game and at Under 20 level scored 28 goals and 13 assists for 41 points in 21 appearances in Slovakia Under 20 Division 2.
Lukas’s senior career has seen him play for HC Slovan Usti nad Labem in Czech Division 2 and HC Decin in Czech 3 before a season playing in Federal Hockey League (FHL) splitting the season between North Shore Knights (in Canada), Watertown Wolves (USA) and Cornwall Nationals (Canada) making a total of 18 games scoring 10 goals and 16 assists for 26 points.
The Raiders are delighted to welcome back to Romford 26 year old forward Blahoslav Novak for a second season in Gold and Blue.
“Blaho” moved from his birth country Slovakia as a 14 year old and spent many years in the Chelmsford junior system before playing for several senior teams at home and abroad.
After playing in the junior system at the Riverside, Blaho made his Chieftains debut in 2009, where he scored 21 goals and 35 assists for 56 points in 35 games. He then moved back to Slovakia and played the next three seasons in the Slovak Under 20 league playing for HC Trnava before two seasons for Slovan Bratislava. He made a total of 156 league and play off appearances in Slovakia scoring 51 goals and 65 assists for 116 points.
He returned to the UK in 2014 to join Telford Tigers in the EPL, in two seasons making 106 appearances scoring 33 goals and 34 assists for 67 points, winning EPL League and Cup in his second season. In 2016 Blaho played in Norway for Moss scoring 3 goals and 6 assists for 9 points in a team that suffered relegation. The following season, Blaho was back in Slovakia playing in Division 2 for HC Topolcany , scoring 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points in 51 appearances for a team that finished in fourth place in the league and lost in the play off semi finals.
Last season Blaho made 42 appearances for the Raiders, scoring 17 goals with 22 assists for a total of 39 points, which meant he was fourth highest Raiders points scorer last season. He was also the most penalised player in the league last season with his “all action” style not suiting the officials.
Raiders management will be as happy as the fans to announce the return of two time Supporters Player Of The Year Brandon Ayliffe for his third senior season in Gold and Blue. His all action style of play endears him to the Raiders supporters and he is a constant thorn in the side of opposition teams.
Last season, Brandon was a Raiders “Ironman” playing in all Raiders 48 fixtures, scoring 12 goals and 20 assists for 32 points. He has now made 93 appearances for the Raiders for an all-time appearance ranking of 77th, scoring a total of 21 goals and 31 assists for a total of 52 points (ranked 92nd all-time scorer).
Brandon played his junior career at Rom Valley Way, moving to Chelmsford after the rink closed. He continued his progress through the Chelmsford junior system before making his senior debut for both the Warriors and Chieftains in 2014/15 aged 16. By the time he moved home to the Raiders he had made 68 appearances for the Chieftains scoring 7 goals and 13 assists for 20 points; and for the Warriors he made 49 appearances, scoring 60 goals and 37 assists for 97 points. He picked up number of NIHL League, Cup and Play Off winners medals as a member of the all-conquering Warriors and Chieftains teams. He also made an appearance for England Under 19 in the annual match against Scotland in May 2017.
Welcome back to the Raiders to Mason Webster, who will be playing his third season in the Gold and Blue.
Mason played his junior hockey in Chelmsford, making five appearances for the Warriors at the age of 17. He then moved to Haringey where he made 33 appearances, averaging almost a point a game in scoring 11 goals and 20 assists. In the middle of 2014-2015 season he moved up a league to Peterborough Phantoms where he iced 25 times scoring five assists and ended the season with a Play Off winners medal.
Mason re-joined the Raiders in the summer ahead of the 2015-2016 season, where he made 44 appearances scoring 10 goals and 30 assists for 40 points; the second best points haul by a British player whilst also being the most penalised player in the league that season with 166 minutes.
Mason then moved onto Invicta Dynamos where in two seasons Mason made 70 appearances, scoring 20 goals and 43 assists for 63 points. In his first season he picked up an NIHL Play Off winners medal and in his second was a double player of the year.
Mason’s last season was decimated after breaking his leg in the opening home league game of the season against Streatham in a freak tumble with Leigh Jamieson. He showed great resolve to recover from what was a complicated break and great mental resilience with a confidence building return after Christmas to make a total of 23 appearances in the season, scoring six goals with assists on 12 for a total of 18 points. It was clear however that Mason wasn’t quite back to his best.
To date, Mason has made 67 appearances for the Raiders, scoring 16 goals and 42 assists for a total of 58 points (ranked 87th in Raiders all time scoring) and will no doubt be looking to prove he is back to full speed.
JJ Pitchley’s very welcome return to the Raiders marks his sixth senior season in the Gold and Blue.
Following his junior career at Rom Valley Way, JJ had a season playing for Dallas Snipers in USA, before returning to the UK. In the next three seasons he made 55 appearances in EPL for Slough Jets, Bracknell Bees and Basingstoke Bison, in addition to spells with the Slough ENL Jets and Bracknell Hornets in NIHL, in which he scored 33 goals and 80 points in 61 appearances.
JJ made his Raiders debut aged 17 away to Milton Keynes Thunder September 2011 with his first goal came a week later in a win over Slough ENL Jets and since then he has gone on to make a total of 194 appearances for the Raiders (including 147 league appearances) ranking 26th in all time appearances.
He has scored 74 goals and 61 assists for a total of 135 points (including 48 goals and 46 assists for 94 league points) for an all time ranking of 35th in all scoring.
Last season JJ played in 47 of the 48 games, missing just the game at Invicta in December. JJ scored 17 goals and 8 assists for 25 points (including 11+6 for 17 league points)