It’s been a few weeks since my last post and to be totally honest their has been a few twists and turns since the end of the off-season. We have since lost the services of three players, Ricky Attrill, Kieran Annis and Nathan Taylor and all three has been fantastic servants to the clubs over the last few years. Both Kieran and Nathan are registered with the club, but with new jobs they both can’t commit this upcoming season. Since they are both registered, I have a sneaky suspicion we haven’t seen the last of them in a Raiders shirt if injuries arise.
We have since signed Bobby Streetly from Sutton and Owen Griffiths from Cardiff and both players are living on the Island and excited to get started. We are still looking for a defence-man, but as it stands we have a full team and will keep our eyes open if any players become available.
The guys have been together for two training sessions so far and even though it’s hard to know how the other teams are looking, I’m impressed with how we are looking. We are a much quicker team this season and by adding the veteran presence of both Cesky and Graham I think we will be a much more balanced team.
This upcoming week we have two more training sessions to prepare us for a big weekend against the Milton Keynes Lightning in the EPL Cup and our closest rivals the Solent Devils. We will continue to work on our fitness levels and team systems in order for us to get off to the best start possible. I don’t want to get too excited, but I am more optimistic about this season then I have been for the last couple.
This past week I was looking around the room and realised this is a massive year of change for our club, the only players remaining from or first year in the NIHL six years ago are Damon Larter and Niall Bound. I think it’s amazing to see the new players that have now become core players for our team and I think it’s fair to say our club has progressed very well over the years.
I hope the fans are ready to get back into the Cube and support this edition of the Raiders. I know the guys can’t wait to get out and play in front of the best fans in the league.
See you on Saturday,