Raiders goalie Windebank looking to put tough spell behind him

Raiders netminder Brad Windebank in action against Basingstoke Bison

Raiders netminder Brad Windebank in action against Basingstoke Bison - Credit: John Scott

Everyone Active Raiders goalie Brad Windebank is looking to put a tough couple of seasons behind him after being announced as the next returnee for the 2022-23 season.

Former Royal Liberty pupil Windebank, 20, is currently recovering from knee surgery after sustaining an injury at the start of last season.

And the club will be hoping he can return to full fitness and get his career back on track, after a frustrating couple of years.

Windebank appeared for England under-13s at the World Pee-Wee Championships in Quebec in successive years, while playing in Romford, and was an under-11 All-Star and MVP at the EIHA Conference weekend while representing the South East in 2013.

He joined Chelmsford following the closure of the old Rom Valley Way rink and was named an under-15 All-Star in 2016, then won under-15 gold a year later, when he also earned Great Britain under-16 honours.

Windebank returned to his home-town club when the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre opened and made his senior debut for the Romford Junior Raiders in 2018-19, posting a 901 save percentage in 26 matches in National League Division One South, while also getting his first taste of ice time with the senior Raiders.

Having suffered an injury at the start of the 2019-20 season, which was eventually cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic, Windebank appeared in the 12-game Spring Cup series, played behind closed doors, in the early stages of 2021.

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But he was hurt again last September and will be hoping for a clean bill of health as he looks to add to his 39 career appearances for the senior Raiders to date, during which he has 4.16 goals against average and 88.92 save percentage.

He said: "It's good to be asked back to the team and shows the faith that the club have in me, even though I have had a rough time over the past couple of seasons with the injuries I have picked up. It will be great to get back out there with the boys. 

"It has been a tough couple of seasons apart from the shortened Spring Cup competition, firstly with the shoulder injury and then only getting 20 games last season before I was ruled out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury I picked up in training.

"But the surgery went well and I am back in the gym and progressing for the start of the new season where I will be 100 per cent. 

"In the few games I did play last season I felt we had a couple of decent performances on a personal and team level. Hopefully I can repay the team this season when I get my opportunity for the faith they’ve shown in me. 

"Myself and Ethan were building something good before I picked up my injury last season, so hopefully we can build off each other this year and make it a successful one. 

"The bare minimum is to make the play-offs. Last season was a disappointment not to be there and we have to put it right this year. We’ve shown we can beat anyone on our day, it’s just a case of finding some consistency."