Ice Hockey: Junior Raiders on South East duty at Conference weekend
PUBLISHED: 12:44 04 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:44 04 May 2019
Junior Raiders will turn out in force the South East at the 25th Inter-Conference tournament in Sheffield over the Bank Holiday weekend, writes Lee Power.
Several members of the current senior Raiders played in the competition during their own junior careers, when it was held in Hull.
And Sheffield has played host to the prestigious event for the past four years, with its twin pad and easy route from the M1 making it more appealing.
Although the new junior programme at Romford's Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre is still in its infancy, head coach Ben Pitchley is delighted to see so many of the youngsters involved.
“The club has always been well represented at this event, so it's great to see within a year of rebuilding the junior programme,” said 46-year-old Pitchley.
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“We have junior Raider players names back in the programme and credit must go to the club's coaching staff.
“Although the junior age groups had to start in the lower leagues of competition this season, they have still managed to assist with players making these age group teams to represent the club at this great tournament.”
The South East under-11 squad includes Romford's Evie Lawrence, Callum Kelly, Bray Harris, Monty Kaminskas, Leon Raj and Vaughn Quilter, with Alan Blyth as head coach and Charis Blyth as manager.
The under-13 squad has Brynley Capps and Jake Hill among its ranks, with Tanya Ayliffe as assistant manager, while the under-15s see clubmates Max Lewis, Tjay Anderson and Tyler de la Bertouche lining up in South East red.
The under-17 squad includes Daniel Hitchings, Ewan Hill, Tommy Huggett, Ellie Wakeling and Brad Windebank, who played lead roles for Raiders in National League Division Two last season.
And they are joined by Marco and Luca Pascale, as well as GB under-18 goalie Ella Howard, with Raiders head coach Sean Easton behind the bench and Jo Sylvester acting as manager.
The tournament begins on May 3, as England under-19s meet Scotland at 8pm, with action from Saturday (7am) until Monday afternoon.