Raiders are delighted to announce a pair of incredibly promising prospects to the National League team for the 23-24 season.
Joe Tomalin turns 16 years of age later in the summer and is the third generation of his family to have been involved with the Raiders. He follows in the footsteps of his grandad Steve (Doc Tomalin) who was a Raiders Manager and legendary equipment guy for many years. His father Richard was a similarly young starter at 15 and went on to make 423 appearances for the Raiders over a 12 year period, scoring 195 goals and 177 assists for 372 points.
Joe joins Raiders from the Chelmsford junior system where he has been the Under 16 Tomahawk’s captain for the past two years and has stepped up to make 22 appearances at Under 18 level scoring 12 goals and 15 assists.
Joe also captained GB Under 16 in the Riga Cup last season, where Sean Easton was assistant coach. During the tournament Joe scored one goal in seven appearances.
Alan Blyth, Joe’s most recent coach, was encouragingly enthusiastic about Raiders latest signing.
“Joe is an exceptional talent that can go as far as he wants. His work ethic and dedication to the sport is second to none.
“Joe has been, and still is, instrumental in the success that Chelmsford Academy has had over recent years. From my years of working with Sean I know Joe will have the best possible introduction to senior hockey and we look forward to following his Transition.
And on this new chapter of opportunity for young players outside of the Romford Academy.
“We hope this will be the first of many that will be able to have exposure to National Hockey as they look move from juniors to seniors.”
Joe is keen to progress his senior aspirations as quickly as possible.
“I’m really excited to be starting my senior hockey with Romford. I know they have a good setup here, and I think it will be a great place for me to develop my game. I know it will be a big step up playing with the Buccs from what I’m used to at junior level, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and I feel ready to make that move.
“When the invite came from Sean to also train with the Raiders, and get experience of playing with the guys at National level, I knew what a great opportunity this would be too. I can’t wait for the season to start, and to get out there and work hard for the club.”
Brynley Capps at just 15 has spent the past five seasons in the Romford junior club. At 11 years of age, he scored 12 goals and five assists at Under 15 level. He has continued to score frequently at all levels, last season scoring 18 goals and 5 assists for 23 points in 9 appearances at Under 18 level.
Brynley was also selected to represent GB Under 16 in the Riga Cup, where he ended with four goals and three assists for seven points, scoring at a point a game. His performances in the tournament impressively saw him awarded the GB Player of the Tournament Award.
“Bryn” was understandably enthusiastic for his opportunity to step up to senior hockey.
“I would like to thank Sean and Bucky for giving me the opportunity to be able to be a part of the Raiders and Buccaneers for this upcoming season.
“Having been training with both the Raiders and the then Raiders 2 NIHL 1 team for the whole of last season, I am already familiar with how Sean wants his teams to play, and I look forward to finally being able to put that into practice on a game day.
“I’m excited to be able to develop myself as a player as I step up into the Senior teams, and I hope to be able to prove myself and continue to bring my contribution to the Romford organisation.
“I have been a Raiders fan since the Rink re-opened in 2018 and attend most home games, so I am looking forward to seeing what it’s like to play in front of the best fans in the league.”
Coach Sean Easton is familiar with and full of praise for both “prospects”.
“Bryn and joe are exciting prospects coming through the juniors. They both have the uncoachables, great size, great attitude, great work ethic. This will be a big year for both being able to play senior hockey after dominating juniors for so long.
“I had the pleasure coaching both with the Great Britain team; Joe was the captain of the team while Bryn was the top point scorer and player of the tournament.
“It’s a big year for both and I am looking forward to helping them transistion their games into senior hockey along with Bucky at Buccaneers. They may not be with the Raiders in games much if at all this season but they will train with us all year and get their match ice at NIHL 1 level.”
And we are sure that the fans are going to be incredibly supportive of these two future game winners.
Welcome Joe and Brynley.