Well what a season to be a Raiders supporter (or player)! From the lows of the early defeats through the heady fortress-like Sapphire weeks where the Vevuzelas outnumbered the opposition fans and onto a very memorable weekend, mid-April in Coventry.
The newer fans will remember this season for a long time but for the oldies who have watched from the late eighties and early nineties the return of this joy has been a long time coming. All credit to Sean and Ben for the work that has helped make this assembly of players the impressive bunch they are and tomorrow we will have a chance to thank the majority of them for giving us an amazing season, some very cheerful Mondays and a really, really long summer as we count down the hours before the first games.
The team behind the team are pretty similar to last season and with growing performances, crowds and interest they have had to “up” their game as well.
Almost £12,000 raised on 50:50 this season. So take a bow Mel, Graham, Claire, Jayne, Sarah, Emma and other occasional helpers who step in un-noticed by me, whilst I am doing other chores. Fantastic job guy and gals.
Thanks to the merchandise team headed by Tanya and including Nikki, often assisted by Georgia, Shanice, Olivia, Lindsey, Jayne and Emma. As ever there may be even more that step up when queues are long or volunteers have the cheek to take a holiday or be ill !!! Thank you and well done with keeping up with our ravenous appetite for clothing, match night magazines, chuck a puck, Shirt Off Back and those damn Vevuzelas 🙂 .
Thanks to our entry staff and having been told to push off from these duties last season I believe that Alan, Danny and Amy have done a lot of the scanning and Anthony and Tracey most of the ticket sales. Thanks again guys and more foot traffic is obviously making you busier and you are coping well.
Thanks again to Anthony and Tracey who normally dash upstairs to take payments for season tickets or pre-sales. Their presence in that role is normally one of the many announcements from our man on the mike Paul Ludlow. As ever a great job from Paul and his side kick Danny, Liaising with Glenn on the game calls.
Our match night off-ice team always do a great job and thanks to Glenn on the clock, Dave (still in the bin-ish) Bill, Ray F, Ray G, Lindsey, Alan White, Paul Windebank and occasional stand ins like Patrick, Brendon, Jo and I am sure more. As mentioned during the season a few more to assist here would be very welcome. Bill the “early arriver” also getting the visitors in the right place and card-tricking his way through the arrivals.
Dave and Louise Capps also do a great job working with the EIHA and keeping the growing essential paperwork in check so thank you both.
Andrew Day is a legend on the twitter circuit and a Raiders fan who is universally loved by all other teams and fans. There’s a feat! Thanks Andrew and your updates have been worth their weight in Bitcoins when unable to get to a game (and sometimes to understand the game live!) Andrew and Paul Windebank provide a huge amount of twitter coverage for the team.
Our media team has evolved a little this year and whilst the frantic excitement of Matt shovelling statistics at us like mad is still entertaining us he has the enthusiastic camera work of Glenn to commentate on now. Glenn’s addition has provided another level to our video work, highlights and some historical stuff thrown in too. I am delighted his passion for the sport and love for the team has returned. Expect our stream to be up with the best over these coming seasons. Matt manages that entertaining commentary whilst still dashing about doing interviews and pushing goals around between periods. Thanks guys.
Hannah has also provided us with some great highlight and promo clips this season and we do hope she can continue because raising local awareness of the sport continues to be a necessity of our existence and growth and they are really entertaining.
Thanks also to Trevor Benbrook who took photos on the bench at Coventry. Trevor was the Raiders photographer for over a decade in the film days before I started and it was great of him to spend two days travelling to Coventry for those two games.
Before the season starts we know that Paul and his artwork and shirt design and Mel with her Own and Loan sponsorship efforts are what starts every season rolling so additional thanks to them. That artwork and merchandise acquisition continues throughout the season for Paul who still provides one of the finest match night magazines in the league, assisted by a number of writers including Stephen Raindle. Paul also provides significant effort with our sponsors and the charity organisations, seeking them and looking after them during the year.
Some great work with one of the more proactive charities this season, Mitchells Miracles and we hope your cause benefitted from working with us. We are also blessed with a great bunch of major and minor sponsors but will be needing even more next season.
Our hosts Everyone Active do a great job keeping our facilities amongst the best to play hockey on and in. Gary and the team have always provided a fantastic ice condition that many teams envy.
PIP lifts, Mullis and Peake, Phil’s Removals, Romford Bid, Allan Reece, Aqualia, Pinsports, Infinity Services, Concel, Blindside, Warrior, Wibblers Brewery, Paradise Wildlife Park and more. We thank you and your support helps keep us going.
And a big thanks to all our own and loan shirt sponsors, many of whom will be able to collect their shirts at the awards evening on Friday 21st, always an important part of the Raiders finances.
The home games are just half the story and thanks to Tanya again who keeps the travel rolling, dealing with coaches and reminding the lads to take their wallets and phones! And with Lel also keeps the lads fresh smelling with the supply of soaps and gels. Thank you!
And of course you the fans, the Gold and Blue Army, who’s support whether we win/lose/excel/suck is always there and much appreciated to cushion the blows and keep us grounded.
Also to the overlooked hockey widows and family who see far less of us than they would if we were not obsessed with this sport. Thanks for your love and tolerance……although I am sure some of them are grateful for the space on the sofa for a few hours.
But a final thanks to the players, the coaching, the physio and equipment staff. An amazing and emotional end to a great season. Bless you all!
It is a growing machine at Raiders and we want to thank each and every cog and drop of oil that keeps us progressing. If someone has been missed, please take no offence. Here’s to a great awards evening and the start of an even bigger and better season and club.