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Ex-Raiders goalie explains decision

PUBLISHED: 17:30 25 June 2012

Michael Gray helped Romford Raiders to a league and trophy double last season

Michael Gray helped Romford Raiders to a league and trophy double last season

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Gray: I will miss friends in team

Former Romford Raiders goalie Michael Gray has explained his reasons for not returing for the 2012/13 campaign.

Gray helped Raiders to an English National League and trophy double last season, but could not commit himself to another term between the pipes at Rom Valley Way.

Player-coach Danny Marshall moved quickly to snap up former Romford junior Shane Kemp from Streatham and still has a second goalie spot to fill on his roster.

Gray said: “The reason I’m not returning is the fact I have new work commitments and I don’t want to waste all my weekends playing cup games that mean nothing.

“It was a tough decision and I will miss the friends I have in the team. But again, if it was only the league games we would have played I would have signed again.

“I’ve nothing planned for next season.”

On top of the 36 games they played on their way to clinching the league title, of which Gray played two-thirds and recorded a 92.09 save percentage, Raiders played an additional six South East Trophy ties, two Essex Cup matches and two Raiders Cup matches.

Gray played in seven of them, with Glen Jackson playing the other three times.

Raiders also played in five play-off matches and were denied a memorable treble by Essex neighbours Chelmsford in the championship final.

The exact format for the renamed National Ice Hockey League next season has still to be confirmed.

Fixtures are usually announced sometime in July.

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