Raiders are delighted to welcome back 18 year old Netminder Brad Windebank who has completed his rehabilitation from the season ending shoulder injury he received early in the first pre-season challenge game at Bracknell. Brad will be the part of the youngest netminder pairing in the National League.
Previously Brad played a pivotal role in the Raiders NIHL2 team, earning recognition from players and coaches 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 played his junior hockey for Romford until RVW closed down, and played three seasons in the Chelmsford junior organisation; two at Under 15 and one at Under 18. Brad had a save percentage exceeding 90% each junior season, with a best of 93.5% in his final Under 15 season.
Brad was also 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.
Coach Sean Easton again has the advantage of working with Brad for several years as he summarised:-
“We are excited to have Brad back. His first year with the Raiders did not go as anyone had planned being yet another victim to a season ending injury before the season had even started.
“Brad is a talented goalie, he is blessed with all the “un-coachable” upsides in his size, compete level and attitude.
“Brad is an exciting talent coming through the ranks and has all the tools to become a top end goalie. We will now help give him the confidence and opportunities to start his senior hockey career the right way.”
Brad is pleased to be through the recovery process and keen to get back into action as he explained:-
”It was obviously very frustrating to get injured, especially that early in the pre-season, but it was made all the more frustrating waiting on results from hospitals and doctors from scans and tests which prolonged the lay-off for me. It was equally frustrating making the long road trips to sit and watch the boys on the ice knowing that I was unable to contribute in any way.
“I guess I am lucky enough to be given a second opportunity by Sean, which has been assisted by P-Head retiring, but I will just need to show what I can do when I am given a chance to play this season.
“I had started physio just prior to the lockdown and with college closing I found I had so much time on my hands to work on getting the shoulder back to full fitness and working on building it up in preparation for getting on the ice again. Obviously lockdown has been hard on everyone in varying ways, but I have been working on fitness with off ice exercises which will benefit me in the long run.
“I have known Ethan for many years as I backed him up as a 9 year old for Romford Juniors back at RVW before he moved on to OHA. As I said before I will be looking to impress on any opportunity that I am given and I am sure Ethan will agree that healthy competition is always a good thing and will benefit us both as well as the team”.
With the Sapphire now open for cautious use the first pre-training skate has taken place and Brad was able to put his shoulder to the test:-
“It was great to get back out on the ice for the first time this week as it has been nearly a year since the injury, but it felt good and I am looking forward to keep training in the hope that we can get the season underway as soon as possible.
“It was good to get back out there with the boys for our first session back. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and things were looking good considering the circumstances.”
Welcome back Brad.
And welcome back to training for the rest of the squad.