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.