Excited Pitchley pleased to agree return to Raiders

Everyone Active Raiders forward JJ Pitchley has agreed a return for 2021-22

Everyone Active Raiders forward JJ Pitchley has agreed a return for 2021-22 - Credit: John Scott

Everyone Active Raiders forward JJ Pitchley is looking forward to the new ice hockey season more than any other.

The home-grown star is the latest to agree a return to the gold and blue jersey, having already made 256 appearances for the senior side.

And the 27-year-old will be looking to add to his 153 points when the National League campaign gets underway in September.

He said: "I think there is always a massive level of excitement about a new season in any sport, more so this year.

"Of course Covid caused our last season to be cut short and the last 18 months have been a very odd time for all, so I definitely think getting back to normal with a season is very much overdue."

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Pitchley came up through the Romford junior ranks to follow in the skate marks of dad Ben, who scored 219 points in 582 games as a defenceman for the Raiders over a 15-year career.

And after seeing the 2019-20 season cut short in the final weeks of the campaign due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, he admitted it was great to get back on the ice after an 11-month wait to play in the Spring Cup earlier this year, despite having to play their 12 games behind closed doors.

Raiders forward JJ Pitchley

Raiders forward JJ Pitchley - Credit: John Scott

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Pitchley added: "The streaming series was fun to play in, with no hockey for a while, and I believe as a squad we showed our worth and how far we have come as a group the last few seasons.

"But without the gold and blue in the stands it was different. I can’t wait to have that noise and buzz back come September!"

Former St Edwards pupil Pitchley joins the likes of fellow forwards Erik Piatak, Aaron Connolly, Jacob Ranson, Jake Sylvester, Ollie Baldock, Brandon Ayliffe and Rio Grinell-Parke on Sean Easton's roster for 2021-22.

And goalies Ethan James and Brad Windebank have also been confirmed, along with defencemen Dan Scott, Jack Cooper, Callum Wells, Sean Barry and Tom Relf.

Pitchley said: "From what I've seen we are putting together a very dangerous squad and are looking to go that extra step and make it to Coventry this season.

"So, stay safe, enjoy the free weekends as come September we want you back in the stands."

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