Netminders announced for Raiders

As we approach the completion of the squad, the London Raiders signing of Junior National Team Coaches continues this week with the return of Euan King for his third spell as Raiders’ netminder.

28 year old Euan progressed through the Peterborough junior system and represented Great Britain at the Junior World Championships on three occasions producing an 89% save percentage, picking up an Under-18 gold medal in Division 2 in season 2005/6; and an Under-20 silver medal two years later.

He first iced competitively for Peterborough Phantoms in an EPIHL cup tie at the age of 16. He iced for Phantoms for three seasons averaging a save percentage of over 89% in each season and was a member of the all conquering Phantoms EPL squad in 2008/9. Euan also made 5 Elite league appearances for Nottingham Panthers.

He moved to Romford for season 2009/10 and his season, like many others that season, was curtailed by an injury with his being in a game against Sheffield Steeldogs. He then moved across Essex to pick up an ENL Champions medal for the Chieftains before taking two years out.

Season 2013/14 started at London Raiders but finances dictated a mass release in mid season, which saw him moving to Chelmsford where he won League and play off winners medals. The following season he back-stopped Chieftains to league and cup wins and returned the best Save Percentage (93.5%) and Goals Against Average (1.93); and followed that up as a member of their grand slam winning Chieftains in 2015/16.

Euan started last season at Streatham making ten appearances before returning to London Raiders in October, recording a 22 shot shut out at Milton Keynes Thunder. In all Euan has made 86 appearances for the Raiders spending 4299 minutes between the pipes (sixth highest in Raiders history) recording an 89.12% Save percentage, with two shut outs.

Euan’s junior coaching role already marks him out as a player with the eye to the future and he added.

“I’m very happy to be back in the Gold and Blue for the new season and working alongside Sean and Alan again. I have a great deal of respect for both as coaches and people and I’m excited to see how they set us up to compete in the new league structure. The new league structure is a bit of an unknown for everyone involved but is something I am very much looking forward to. They have put together a very good team with mixture of youth, experience, speed and grit which should hopefully set us up nicely to be competitive.

With the move back to Romford just around the corner, the club is on a steep upward incline and this is probably the most excited I have been for a season in a very long time. I said when I returned in November my aim was to get back to the new rink and nothing has changed. It’s now down to me to make sure I perform to the level expected of me to make that goal becomes a reality.”

Joining Euan between the pipes this season is today’s second signing in the form of the promising prospect Zach Grandy-Smith.

Having spent all his ice hockey career in the Chelmsford junior system, 18 year old Zach has also been selected for South East Conference hockey at both Under 15 and 17 levels.

Sean Easton selected Zach on the basis of his long term knowledge of his time in the Chelmsford system as he added.

“Zach is an eager kid willing to learn and is a cracking goalie. He has all the “uncoachables” .He is 6″4’ and athletic, which helps Zach fill a lot of the net. Zach has played for conference and England teams through his junior days as well has winning junior titles in his time at Chelmsford”.

Zach added.

“I am really looking forward to coming back into hockey this coming season and creating a relationship with the fans after a break last season. When Sean asked me to become part of the Raiders it came as surprise but it is an opportunity that I am prepared to undertake fully.”

Euan King was pleased to see the young prospect at the Raiders.

“I am also excited to be working with Zach this season. When we spoke in the summer we discussed options and I was very keen to have a young goalie to help bleed through. We have a very good prospect who will not only push me week in week out to ensure I remain on my toes for game time, but also a talented goalie who I can help out and use my experience to hopefully be pushing to take the senior role in the next few seasons.”

Welcome to both Euan and Zach, and be sure to get their shirts sponsored for that all important financing that keep this team ticking.

Raiders re-sign Nahlik and Burnett

It will be a disappointment when we have to break the habit, but your Friday fact feast continues for another week at least.

This week we are delighted to announce the return for a third season in Gold and Blue of 33 year old Slovakian forward Marek Nahlik. His energetic style marks him out as a typical Raiders favourite and with more line mates of a similar ilk this season we are confident that we will be able to extract even more from him.

Marek had a 10 year career primarily in Slovakia League 2, including six seasons with HJC Topolcany before moving to the UK to play for Invicta Dynamos. In that stint in2014-15 he made 28 appearances in all competitions scoring 25 goals and 23 assists for 48 points. After a season back in Slovakia for HMK Humenne Marek moved to London for the 2015-16 season as the management had remembered more than most the potential Marek showed in that first UK season.

Despite an injury disrupted season last term, Marek has made 79 appearances for the Raiders in all competitions, scoring 75 goals and 52 assists for 127 points (54 goals and 43 assists for 97 points in league games). He was top scorer in his first season for the Raiders and joint top scorer last season. His 127 points see him in 36th place in all time scoring, and will be looking to quickly become the 35th player to score 100 league points for the Raiders.

Coach Alan Blyth was keen to sing Marek’s praises as he commented that

“the decision to bring back Nahlik to the Gold and Blue for a third season was an easy one for me and Sean. Nahlik started last season on fire and had the lamp constantly lit. However an injury-hit second half of the season meant that he could not play to his full. I’m sure after a summers rest and a good pre-season we will see Marek back looking even fitter and ready to go.”

Marek was keen to point out his eagerness to be playing at “Romford” again this season.

“I am very happy to be carrying on in Romford. This season our team will be stronger than previously with the signing of good new players and also the existing older players with lots of experience”

The team are certainly anticipating seeing the Marek that started so well last season combining well with his linemates till departures and injury reduced his points tally.

Our “something old, something new” traditional is slightly under examination here as our second announcement played for the Raiders last season, but at 16 he still qualifies as “new”.

Current GB Under 16 international Defenceman Callum Burnett has re-signed for the Raiders having joined the squad on his 16th birthday in January this year, becoming the first player born in the 21st century to make a Raiders appearance.

Following the closure of the Romford rink, Callum moved to Slough Jets to progress through their junior ranks under the watchful eye of ex Raider Ben Pitchley, making appearances each year for South East in the Inter Regional Conference. Callum has also made 13 tournament appearances for Great Britain Under 16s, scoring twice with assists on two further goals.

Callum made his Raiders debut in an NIHL league game at Invicta in January 2017 just days after his 16th birthday having spent all season travelling with and supporting the team at training. He went on to make 16 appearances in all competitions for the Raiders, scoring once, the Raiders 4th goal in a 4-4 draw at Bracknell Hornets.

Coaches Blyth and Easton are very familiar with Callum’s talents and after recent GB under 16’s duties national coach Sean Easton summarised Callums appeal.

“Callum is an exciting up and coming prospect. Recently representing Great Britain u16s in Czech also last season in Madrid. Callum has good size and strength for his age,”

With an eye on the Raiders squad size this season Easton was keen to add.

“Callum will also be on a 2 way this year to make sure he keeps developing with good ice time”.

Callum was difficult to track down for his thoughts for the coming season but he interrupted an on ice session during a 6 week hockey camp in Penticton, British Columbia to chat through his hopes for the coming season. When he returns from Canada he will be straight into trials for the GB under 18’s.

“It is great to be in the squad again this season and my targets are just to play the best I can and develop. Getting back on ice with some familiar names from the old Romford junior system is also something I am looking forward to. I’d love to get more ice time and will do all I can to show that I can step up another level.”

“Last season the players and the fans made me so welcome and that helped my transition from Junior to Senior Hockey. I just want to fight hard for my spot and get a regular shift amongst the guys I used to train with as a junior. The two way we are working on will just ensure I get the all-important ice time and hopefully give me a chance to offer more to both teams.”

Callum is another with an eye to the future in the new showcase leisure centre development in Romford town centre where the Raiders will be playing in 2018.

“I am taking my level 1 coaching so hopefully I can start to put that to good use and help the coaching set up with the youngsters in the new junior programme.”

Welcome back to both Marek and Callum.

Raiders add two more

With a full squad getting closer by the week, London Raiders are delighted to announce the return of yet another popular player and he comes with the additional benefit of extensive EPL experience.

Alan Lack has agreed to return and he has to his credit 180 league, cup and play off appearances in the EPL, including being part of the league winning Basingstoke Bison in 2015/16.
Aged 24, and almost a veteran amongst this seasons squad.

Alan progressed through the Bracknell junior system, averaging 1.4 points per game before making his senior debut for the Bracknell Hornets at the age of 16, progressing to make his EPL debut for Bracknell Bees two years later.

In the ENL / NIHL competitions, Alan made 101 appearances for the Hornets, a brief stay of 7 games in 2013/14 for Invicta, before joining the Raiders in January 2016 making his debut in a 3-3 draw with Bracknell Hornets. To date he has made 34 appearances for the Raiders, scoring exactly a point a game with 16 goals and 18 assists. In total he has scored 150 ENL / NIHL points (70 goals and 80 assists) and accumulated 425 penalty minutes.

Since making his EPL debut in 2010/11, Alan made a total of 183 EPL appearances for Bracknell Bees, Slough Jets, Basingstoke Bison and Peterborough Phantoms scoring 42 goals and 48 assists for 90 points and 381 penalty minutes.
Sean Easton spoke of his negotiations with Alan.

“Talking to Alan some time ago and he was adamant that he wanted to be a Raider despite various offers from the “bigger teams” within our league. Lacky will bring us a lot of steel and grit as well as speed and skill. Lacky has a high “compete” level and will do what it takes to win and that’s what our team will be about, 100% effort all the time not knowing when to quit. Alan is also going to help our team with gym programs, running off ice fitness training and nutrition plans using his professional expertise and knowledge to help improve the team.”

Alan was clearly in his default mode of “energised” when he enthused about his return to the club.

“I am really looking forward to the new season coming up. It is going to be a good year especially as the standard has risen. It’s going to be great playing against some of my old EPL teams as well. London Raiders are in for a big season with changes to the team and coaching staff.”

Alan concurred with many of his team mates in that joining the Raiders this season was also with an eye to the future.

“With the new rink coming up returning to Romford is going to be a great experience for all of us. With the new structure and new team mates I believe we are in for a really good year and an opportunity to compete against the big teams this season and next. Bring on September. I can’t wait for it!”

Welcome back Lacky

This weeks “new” signing is 23 year old 5’10“ D-man Sean Barry who ventures away from the Riverside for the first time. Despite being his debut season in the Gold and Blue we suspect that Sean will be comfortable enough since the locker room will probably have a familiar feel to it.

Sean progressed through the Chelmsford junior system before making his senior debut for the Warriors at the age of 16, for whom he made 46 appearances in total picking up 17 assists.
He made his Chieftains debut at the age of 18 in 2012/13 and has been a permanent fixture on the Chelmsford defence in the past three seasons including being ever present in two consecutive seasons.

He has picked up 4 consecutive NIHL S1 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.

Sean Easton was ideally placed to give his thoughts on the new recruit.

“Sean is our second new face to Raiders this year and is a great team guy, easy going and great within any team. Positive and not intimidated by any challenge. Sean again will compete hard, and wants to win all the time. High hockey intelligence let’s him read the game very well. His speed and agility makes him an asset to our team.”

Sean was keen to start his thoughts with some credit towards the Chelmsford organisation.

“I would like to thank Derek and Karen and the Chieftains supporters for the past few seasons. After speaking to Sean over the past few weeks I’m looking forward to getting on the ice with the new team and challenging for some silverware. I can’t wait to get on the ice in front of the Gold and Blue army!”

Welcome to the Raiders Sean

Both shirts are now available for sponsorship and Mel will no doubt be updating fans with the contact details for the fans to engage in this vital fund raising part of the fans run team.

So that’s 10 forwards and 6 D already announced for the Raiders and the squad is already looking stronger that we have seen in recent years.

These and others will be parading for your delectation at the forthcoming meet the players evening which is scheduled for Friday 8th September at the Noak Hill Sports Centre. Be sure to watch out for further announcements on this and all shirt sponsors will have the opportunity to present “their” shirts to the players in true own and loan style.

Now we wouldn’t want a player not being presented with a shirt so please check out the sponsorship list and make sure none of them look like the boy that Santa forgot!

Blue line strengthened with 2 returnees

Its announcement time again for the Gold and Blue faithful!

The Raider’s management were first alerted to this returnee at Easter with coach Easton’s simple message “JC is back”. By that time we were already aware that the good eggs in the NIHL were likely to merge with the resurrected EPL so this confirmation was quite welcome.

We are of course referring to the return of highly experienced 26 year old D-man John Connolly for his third season in the Gold and Blue. John brings experience in both the Elite and EPL Leagues which is clearly going to prove valuable for the challenges ahead. Since joining the Raiders, John has made 53 appearances, scoring 4 goals and 19 assists for 23 points, despite missing a large part of last season with a leg injury.

John’s junior career included two seasons in Western States Hockey league with Texas and New Mexico Renegades, and he was selected for the Great Britain U/18 squad for two seasons for World Championships winning Gold and Silver Medals, and picking up a Best Defenceman award. He progressed to be selected twice for Great Britain Under 20 World Championship squad picking up Silver and Bronze medals.

John started his senior career home in Scotland making 54 appearances for Braehead and Edinburgh before moving on to the EPL where he has iced for Slough Jets, Manchester Phoenix and Milton Keynes Lightning, making a total of 61 league, cup and play-off appearances.

He gained further foreign experience with a brief spell in 2011/12 making 8 appearances for MHS Kazakhmys in Russia MHL League, before returning to play for Solway in NIHL North, for whom he picked up a league winner’s trophy having made 35 league / cup appearances, scoring 12 goals and 34 assists for 46 points.

John then moved to Chelmsford where he made 98 appearances in all competitions, scoring 10 goals and 64 assists for 74 points, picking up league and play off winner’s medals.
John added

“I’m glad to be coming back to the Raiders for another season”.

On the subject that many forums will insist on discussing John added:-

“Sean and I have sat down and had a talk about what had happened in the past when I was at Chelmsford and it’s all been resolved and we can move forward now. I’m looking forward to the season ahead, which will be an interesting one for sure with a new look Raiders team and new look league.”

Coach Easton was keen to confirm the value he has always placed upon the Scot stating,

“JC brings with him a lot of experience from International, EPL and NIHL hockey which is exactly what we need with our tough challenge this season. Calm head, smooth skating and able to be an offensive threat from the back. JC will also be supporting the letter A on his shirt to voice his experience with our young hungry squad. He was my first signing after a good sit down chat, and he is looking forward to getting going. Already back on the ice shaking off the summer rust, JC and the rest of your Raiders will be ready to go from the first puck drop.”

Adding to an already strong looking defensive line up the Raiders are also delighted to welcome back a player who made an immediate impact when he joined the team towards the end of last season.

Having re-joined the Raiders in January 2017, Andy Munroe has agreed to return to play for the Raiders as we make the preparations for a return season to Romford as he explained:

“I’m delighted to be returning to the Raiders for the coming season. I only iced for a few months at the end of last season due to work/life commitments, so it will be good to get a full season behind me this year after missing most of last season. The merging of the leagues will undoubtedly increase the standard of the league overall. This will mean we as a team need to come back fitter, stronger, focused and ready to achieve the targets that we will set ourselves for the year. The squad Sean and Alan are putting together seems competitive and we should enjoy a good season. I’m looking forward to getting my skates back on and getting going. I also just wanted to highlight that the Raiders fans should be very proud of the support they provide the club both physically and financially. This enables the viability of the team, so us players can do what we enjoy and hopefully entertain you all. We thank you for your continued support”.

On the subject of this season’s chosen charity Andy was also keen to show his approval.

“I am also very pleased to see the club’s support of the National Autistic Society with the new warm-up shirts and other planned fund raising. My youngest daughter Neve has recently been diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum and so it is something close to our hearts. Because Autism affects sufferers in a very individual way, getting the right level of support is so important. Anything that we can do to help with that support is such a good thing. Have a great summer and look forward to seeing the G&B soon. AM #11”

Andy brings a wealth of experience and BNL and then EPL level of ice hockey making a total of 632 appearances in all BNL / EPL League, Cup and Play Off competitions, scoring 18 goals and 81 assists for 99 points.

He made his debut for Hull Thunder in 2000, and went on to make 142 appearances scoring four goals and six assists for ten points.

Andy then plied his trade in Peterborough in 2004 and in his 5 years as a Phantom made 244 appearances in all competitions, scoring 10 goals and 43 assists for 53 points; and was a member of the Phantoms treble winning team.

He had his first spell for The Raiders making 35 appearances in the fated 2009/10 EPL season under coach Jesse Hamill, moving mid-season to Slough Jets where he won another EPL Play Off title in 2010 and a cup winners medal in 2011, making a total of 87 appearances for the Jets. He then switched to Bracknell where in two seasons he made 109 appearances for the Bees, before moving back to his native north to join Billingham Stars for whom he made 97appearances in NIHL North league and cup competitions.

Andy re-joined the Raiders in January following a house move and took his Raiders appearances to a total of 53 with two goals and six assists for 8 points.

Coach Alan Blyth was keen to outline the reasoning behind signing Andy.

“Munzie is a huge signing for us this year. When he came in last year he really steadied the ship. Solid at the back and also quick to turn defence to offence when required. A smart defenceman on the blue line and will help the younger d-men with advice and guidance too. I know that there were lots of teams after the signature of Andrew and we are very pleases that he has chosen to return once again to the Raiders.”

Welcome back John and Andy, and as ever the team will be taking orders for these undoubtedly popular shirts as soon as this announcements pops up on the various web and social media sites.

Smith re-signs, Baldock signs

The Raiders are delighted to welcome back an “old hand” as well as a very promising newbie to the Gold and Blue Colours.

Julian Smith was a notable victim of the Raiders faithful’s considerable voice whenever he appeared for the opposition and for good reason as he brings a great deal of experience as one of the league’s more senior defenceman. He has a physical edge but the sense and judgement to avoid being in the penalty box as often as his physical presence would normally be “rewarded”.

The 2017 / 2018 season will be Julian’s fifth in Gold and Blue colours, having first iced for the Raiders in season 2010/11, making his debut in a 6 – 0 ENL home win against Bristol Pitbulls. Of relevance to this season is he also brings experience at the second tier of British ice hockey from his time at Peterborough Phantoms.

Julian started his career at Peterborough his then home town team, progressing to make his senior debut for Peterborough Phantoms in 2002/3. He played for Great Britain in World Championships at both Under 18 and Under 20. In his time as a Phantom Julian made 286 appearances in EPL League, Cup and Play Off competitions, highlighted by being a member of the all conquering 2008/9 treble winning Phantoms. Julian also made 3 appearances for Nottingham Panthers in the Elite League.

Julian was spirited from the Phantoms to Romford at the end of 2009/10 season, and played for the Raiders for three seasons until the move to Lee Valley. In his final season as a Raider Julian captained the Raiders to the ENL South 1 league title.

Julian then joined Chelmsford Chieftains where in three seasons he won a further three NIHL South league titles, the last two as Captain, in addition to wins in Play Offs, League Cups and South East trophies, including his second career clean sweep in his last season for Chieftains in 2015/6. In all Julian made 141 appearances for Chieftains scoring 6 goals and getting 49 assists for 55 points.

Julian re-joined the Raiders at the start of last season and to date has made 176 appearances in all competitions (123 league appearances) and is ranked 28th in overall Raider appearances. For Raiders Julian has scored 12 goals which together with 91 assists for 103 points (10+71 for 81 league points) for a Raiders scoring ranking of 50th overall.

A calming influence at the back the 30 year old 6’2” D man will be wearing one of the A’s this season as coach Sean Easton added.

“It was a pleasure to work with Jules once before and he is a true leader. An experienced voice in the room and on the ice, which is just what we will need in the tougher league we are now in. Jules is a strong no nonsense D man who will do the little things right and play physical in his own end”.

Julian replied

“I’m really happy to be returning to the Raiders for a second season but my 5th season in total. A return was always on the cards and I am pleased to be teaming up again with Sean Easton. He’s is a great coach and I think with him involved we will become a more technical team. I’m excited by the team that is being put together and we clearly will have better depth this season with some great two way players like Matty Turner. The kids like Jake, Brandon & Ollie that are coming in have proven themselves and they will be a thorn in the side of other teams. It’s going to be an interesting year with the changes that have happened but a great challenge. I’m excited to get started and hear the support from our great fans”.

We can be certain that this is a signing that will delight all of the Raiders fans, despite the fact that Julian just announced our next signing who is…………….

Ollie Baldock
19 year old Ollie Baldock is the first announced player who will be playing in the Raiders Gold and Blue for his debut season in 2017/2018.

Ollie’s junior career was at Chelmsford, apart from one season as a Cardiff Junior Devils. He made 52 appearances for Chelmsford Tomahawks (U/16) plus two tournament appearances for England before progressing to make 43 appearances for the Mohawks at Under 18 level. At both levels Ollie showed his scoring and goal making prowess averaging 2.4 points per game.

Ollie progressed into senior hockey, making his Chelmsford Warriors (NIHL2) and Chieftains (NIHL1) debuts in 2014/15 season. In the following season, his first full season in senior hockey being split between Chieftains and Warriors, Ollie was a productive part of the Chieftains team who won all four trophies on offer whilst also being a member of the Warriors who won all three NIHL trophies. In total Ollie has made 96 Chieftains / Warriors appearances, scoring 61 goals and 69 points for 130 points.

Coach Easton knows Ollie’s game as well as anyone as he elaborated.

“Again sticking to our youth, speed and skill ethos, at just 19 Ollie will also bring a surprisingly calm head. He is a high IQ player that brings a lot of hockey brains to the team enhanced by his experience. As a junior he was a high scoring threat and in his first NIHL 1 season last term he showed that he can play both offensive and defensive. Ollie is a fantastic defensive forward boasting +64 meaning when he is on the ice few goals are conceded but plenty are scored”.

Ollie added

“To be a part of such a big transition in British hockey is a great achievement for both myself and this club. With the league structure changing and Raiders moving back to Romford this season, I am delighted to be joining the Gold and Blue on its move to the ‘Second tier league’.


“Entering this new league is a big stepping stone in my career, playing against faster, stronger and in some cases better teams week in week out will only make myself and the team stronger as the season progresses. Going into next season as the underdogs is to be expected, but with the backing of such a large and supportive fan base throughout the season, will lead to many upsets and will make each and every game easier for us players. It’s going to be a tough experience for us all but an enjoyable one, to say the least! Roll on the 2017/18 season!”

Ollie clearly combined very productively with Jake Sylvester last season and Raiders are anticipating that their synergy will be visible again in Raiders colours.

Welcome to the Raiders Ollie!

Ziggy and Sylvester sign for Raiders

The Raiders announcements continue this week on the theme of future proofing and youth inclusion but both of this week’s signings have already proven themselves at this level, eliminating the traditional element of risk.

We are pleased to see the signature of Thomas (Ziggy) Beesley for his second term at the Raiders the day after his 20th Birthday (Thursday 15th) , so happy birthday for yesterday Ziggy!

Ziggy was signed last season as a player well known to coach Alan Blyth but something of a mystery to the rest of us and that included opposition fans and coaches who wondered where this pain in the neck appeared from.

He made an immediate impression, quickly becoming a fans favourite, scoring 7 goals and 15 assists in 40 appearances in all competitions, missing just one game against Milton Keynes. His contribution to the team was recognised by his peers whose’ votes won him a deserved Players Player of the Year award in April.

Before joining Raiders, Ziggy made 58 appearances in the EPIHL for Bracknell Bees scoring 4 goals and six assists, and made an international appearance for England Under 19 against Scotland. Prior to making the step up to senior hockey, Ziggy learned his trade in the Bracknell junior system culminating with being a member of The Bracknell Drones U18 national championship winning team for whom he made 30 appearances, scoring 25 goals and 41 assists for 66 points

No doubt typed with his traditional beaming grin Ziggy added,

“After being in contact with Sean and Alan I’m delighted to be a Raider for a second year! The whole club and my fellow teammates have been really supportive of me during my first year in the capital and it’s been an experience to play amongst guys like Kinger, Julian, Tommy etc. I’m also looking forward to returning to playing against some 2nd tier teams after the league restructure, which will be familiar, especially when playing in Gold and Blue in front of our fans; best in the league I must say! Finally, it will be solid to get on the ice with some of the newer guys coming into the organisation and getting to bond with these players coming in. It will be a long summer in preparation but we won’t disappoint, see you September folks. ZB12”

Sean Easton gave his quick appraisal of his new charge.

“Ziggy’s a youthful speedy forward, that is always a thorn in a d mans side. A great forechecker always hustling to win a battle. Plenty of speed and grit and his agility will be a pain to deal with”

Welcome back Ziggy!

This week’s second signing is another familiar face to the Raiders set up but that familiarity we are sure will not dilute the enthusiasm of his return.

Age 19 now he was another member of the Romford Hornets National Championship Under 16 winning team under Alan Blyths coaching. He iced 58 times for the Hornets scoring 56 goals and 36 assists for 92 points. In the final season at RVW in 2012/13, He made a total of 35 appearances for Hornets and Buccaneers, scoring 70 goals and 41 assists for a total of 111 points.

That early promise has returned results year on year despite the closure of the Romford rink. Moving to the Chelmsford development system he has progressed making 34 appearances for Mohawks, scoring 45 goals and 39 assists for 80 points. He continued into senior hockey for the Warriors in NIHL2 making 62 appearances, scoring 70 goals and 50 assists for 120 points and was a key member of the triple winning Warriors team in 2015/16.

He made his Chieftains debut in 2014/15 season and made 82 appearances scoring 32 goals and 30 assists for 62 points, picking up a clutch of trophies as part of the all-conquering Chieftains squad.

It is worth absorbing those numbers before announcing that Jake Sylvester is the proud possessor of such an impressive record which we are sure he will add to now back in the Gold and Blue.

Jake added

“I am very excited to be returning to the Gold and Blue and to be a part of a club with as much history as this one is an honour. I am looking forward to the challenge this year with the league changes and to have a fan base as large as the Raiders have is going to be exciting to play in front of. It’s going to be a fun season with new team mates and can’t wait to get started”

Sean Easton knows well Jake’s abilities having coached him over the past few years.

“Jake is a real talent having had a fantastic 16/17 season and producing points of a senior player due to playing beyond his age. Jake is a smooth skater, fast, skilful and knows where the net is. That’s our attributes this year, we will be a fast skating skilful team that won’t know when to stop”

Welcome Jake!




A twelve-team national cup competition is one of the main items confirmed by the League Management Committee as National Ice Hockey League format and structure discussions have been concluded ahead of the 2017/18 season.


The set up of the league competitions was confirmed late last month with two divisions in each of the north and south sections of the league.  D1 North (Moralee) and D2 North (Laidler) each have ten teams, D1 South (Britton) has nine teams, while D2 South (Wilkinson) has 14 teams.


Playoffs for Division 1 teams will feature the top eight sides playing home and away ties over three successive weekends to crown respective north and south champions.  A showpiece finals weekend will then be held with two teams from the north and two from the south to decide the National Playoff Championship.  The date and venue of the finals weekend will be confirmed as soon as possible.


Division 2 playoff details are now confirmed.  In D2 North (Laidler) the top four sides will contest a playoff weekend to decide their championship.  D2 South (Wilkinson) will feature the top eight sides playing two legged quarter finals before the final four sides will contest a playoff weekend.  Again dates and venues will be announced as soon as all details are confirmed.


Promotion and relegation between divisions in both the north and south have been aligned with both sides operating an automatic one up, one down system.  In year one there will be no automatic relegation from D1 South (Britton) to enable to division to return to ten teams.


The LMC are pleased to confirm that a national cup competition for Division 1 sides will take place this season.  Twelve sides will play initially in four regionalised groups, leading to knockout stages with an eventual National Cup Final.

Taking part in the NIHL National Cup are:

Group A: Billingham Stars, Blackburn Hawks, Solway Sharks

Group B: Sheffield Steeldogs, Peterborough Phantoms, Hull Pirates

Group C: Invicta Dynamos, London Raiders, Streatham IHC

Group D: Basingstoke Bison, Bracknell Bees, Swindon Wildcats

Group matches are two home, two away against the other teams for a total of eight games.  The top two sides move to quarter finals to be held in early 2018.


Six clubs are also playing an Autumn Trophy which is scheduled to conclude by early December.  The teams will play initially in two groups, playing one home and one away, before semi finals and final follow.  The teams are split as follows:

Group 1: Basingstoke Bison, Peterborough Phantoms, Sheffield Steeldogs

Group 2: Bracknell Bees, Hull Pirates, Swindon Wildcats


There is no cup competition for Division 2 clubs in either north or south sections.


The 2017/18 NIHL season is currently expected to begin on the weekend of September 2/3.


Raiders jerseys revealed for 2017/2018

The Raiders are pleased to reveal the home and away jerseys for this coming season.
Having revealed the new logos earlier on the Facebook page, the boys will be back in navy and gold for the new season.

Thank you as always to our sponsors whose logos appear on the jerseys this and in previous seasons.
If you or your company would like your logo on our shirts then please contact Mel via email at

Raiders warm up shirts revealed for 2017/2018

The London Raiders are delighted to be supporting The National Autistic Society for the 2017/2018 season

To get your hands on one of these beauties you will need to sponsor a player as these will NOT be on general sale so are limited edition.

As per last year these will cost £120, to register your interest for upcoming signings or to sponsor a current player already announced please contact Mel via email at

From single puzzle pieces, to multiple pieces, from pieces pulled apart to pieces drawn together, the autism puzzle piece meaning strives to incorporate the diversity and multiple characteristics of the condition. The puzzle piece has been used to globally represent autism and its cause.

Please note that these are now SOLD OUT!

Raiders land defensive duo

London Raiders have announced the re-signing of popular defenceman Jack Cooper and the addition of bright young prospect Callum Wells.

Former Albany School pupil Cooper admits it was an easy decision to agree to return to the Lee Valley-based club for the 2017/18 National League season.

The 20-year-old said: “I’m looking forward to another year in the gold and blue.

“I believe we had our best season in a while last year and this year shouldn’t be any different.”

Cooper made 41 appearances, picking up seven assists last campaign, but he believes the team can improve further and has set high targets for the season.

“I am very excited with this upcoming season, I believe we are in for a great year, especially with the new signings we have announced,” he added.

“My personal goal would be to finish as high up the table as possible. I’d like a top-three finish and to try and get at least one trophy this year.”

The former Romford junior is also keen to work with new coach Sean Easton, who has joined from fierce rivals Chelmsford, and is feeling confident despite all of the changes in the league structure during the close season.

“I have only worked with Easton once and that was at South East,” said Cooper.

“I know he is a very good coach and I am excited to work with him this year.

“It’s a bit of a shame that a few of the teams have dropped out of the league, but nevertheless, we have to focus on our game as we are going up against a few tougher opponents. I am confident we will do well.”

Joining Cooper on the blue line next season will be another former Romford junior in Wells, who has spent the last few seasons plying his trade between the Chelmsford Chieftains and Warriors, since the closure of the old Romford ice rink in Rom Valley Way.

The 19-year-old Wells, who has also iced for the Great Britain under-18s and in the England junior set-up, will be the latest to return to the club’s gold and blue jersey.

The pair join Tom Davis, JJ Pitchley, Matt Turner, Olegs Lascenko, Sam Roberts and Brandon Ayliffe on the roster and more signing announcements are expected throughout the summer.