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Pitchley relishing new Raiders season

PUBLISHED: 09:00 13 September 2018

JJ Pitchley lets off a shot

JJ Pitchley lets off a shot

Archant

Raiders forward JJ Pitchley cannot wait to start the 2018/19 National League campaign.

The former Romford junior saw his season cut one game short last time around, after suffering a knee injury in the play-off semi-finals against Basingstoke.

But he was back on ice to play against the Legends and is ready to face Bracknell in home-and-away challenge matches this weekend.

He said: “After a fantastic Legends weekend it will be good to get back on the ice and into the flow again. The new faces look fast, strong and hungry, which is exactly what we want.

“Aaron (Connolly) is a natural leader and doing that already, (Dan) ‘Scotty’ is a big, powerful guy at the back who is going to help us massively, Blaho (Novak) is fast and skillful and Mase (Webster) is the cement we have been missing for the last year.

“He gets involved all over the ice and is going to be a force. The prospects are also finding their feet well. It’s all about learning and getting experience under their belts.

“They will develop as the weeks go by and I know they will all do well when their opportunity comes this year.”

Having finished fourth last season, before bowing out of the post-season against the league champions, Pitchley says Raiders have clear targets this term.

“From a team perspective we have one main goal – get to Coventry and win some silverware!” he added.

“The club is moving upwards at a rapid pace and growing the Gold and Blue brand. We’re all hungry to get better and win.

“The guys love playing in Romford and others hate playing against us. We have the best fans in the league and that’s a massive boost for us when we need it.”

Having taken the Raider of the Year award in 2016/17 and moved his career points tally on to 110 (57 goals, 53 assists) last term, Pitchley says he wants to keep on improving his own game.

He said: “Personally I want to grow as a player, get better and continue to establish myself as a top Brit in the league. I’ve got a lot of people to prove wrong after how my season ended last season so next weekend can’t come quick enough.”

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