Ice hockey: Raiders award winners revealed
PUBLISHED: 07:39 14 April 2018 | UPDATED: 08:34 14 April 2018
Young forward Brandon Ayliffe followed in the footsteps of some of the club’s all-time greats by winning the Supporters’ Player of the Year award for the 2017/18 season.
Winners were revealed at the club’s end of season presentation evening at Pontlands Park Hotel in Great Baddow and Ayliffe, who began playing at a very young age at the old Rom Valley Way rink, narrowly beat goalie Michael Gray to the accolade, to join an elite club including the likes of Gord Jeffrey, Rob Stewart, Marc Chartier and Danny Marshall, among others.
There was some consolation for Gray, who earned the votes of his team-mates to claim the Players’ Player of the Year prize, but he was pilled to the defenceman of the year award by Andy Munroe, by one vote.
Defenceman Sean Barry earned the coaches player of th year award from Sean Barry and Alan Blyth, who will be back behind the Raiders bench next season, while Slovakian import Juraj Huska and young British Ollie Baldock shared the forward of the year honours.
Other special awards were presented to Paul Windebank and Jayne Clifford (Heart of the Raiders) for the massive amount of work they have done behind the scenes for the club over many years, while Dave Falconer and Graham Ford received exceptional service awards for their efforts with fundraising, announcing and website design over the past decade.
A club statement said: “Faced with a restructured and strengthened league, Sean and Alan simply knuckled down and extracted from the leads the most we could have expected.
“A big congratulations and thanks to the players that have spent hours training, travelling and putting their bodies on the line week after week.
“For five years the first phase of the team’s rebuilding was to culminate in taking residence in the building whose planning we kept an eye on so keenly.
“We now enter the second phase having seen all we aimed for in phase one achieved. That also saw the addition of three-year sponsor and landlord Everyone Active and what a great partnershpi we have formed already.
“We have been staggered at how well the return of hockey to Romford has been taken by fans old and new and that brings stability that the future growth needs as we have seen crowds not seen for decades.
“Our thoughts and plans have already turned to next season and the task of taking the Raiders further up the table.”
Raiders of the Year
1987-88: Marc Chartier (Can)
1988-89: Gord Jeffrey (Can)
1989-90: Gord Jeffrey
1990-91: Rob Stewart (Can)
1991-92: Rob Stewart
1992-93: Rob Stewart
1993-94: Terry Kurtenbach (Can)
1994-95: (no winner)
1995-96: Danny Marshall (GB)
1996-97: Mikko Nurminen (Fin)
1997-98: Henrik Olsson (Swe)
1998-99: Mikko Nurminen
1999-2000: Jaakko Komulainen (Fin)
2000-2001: Danny Marshall (GB)
2001-2002: Jamie Randall (GB)
2002-2003: Mark Williams (GB)
2003-2004: Rob Douglas (Can)
2004-2005: Andrew Power (Can)
2005-2006: Kyle Amyotte (Can)
2006-2007: Andrius Kaminskas (Lith)
2007-2008: Mark Lee (GB)
2008-2009: Jan Krajicek (Cze)
2009-2010: Matt Turner (GB)
2010-2011: Juraj Huska (Svk)
2011-2012: Billy Phillips (GB)
2012-2013: Shane Kemp (GB)
2013-2014: David Oliver (GB)
2014-2015: Jacob Ranson (GB)
2015-2016: Marek Nahlik (Svk)
2016-2017: JJ Pitchley (GB)
2017-2018: Brandon Ayliffe (GB)