Raiders announce return of experienced goalie Gray as young Windebank gets call

Raiders goalie Michael Gray keeps his eye on the action against Bracknell (pic John Scott)

Raiders goalie Michael Gray keeps his eye on the action against Bracknell (pic John Scott) - Credit: Archant

Everyone Active Raiders have announced the signings of netminding duo Michael Gray and Bradley Windebank ahead of the new National League campaign.

Raiders netminder Bradley Windebank (Pic: John Scott)

Raiders netminder Bradley Windebank (Pic: John Scott) - Credit: Archant

Gray, 29, will return for his 10th consecutive season in the gold and blue jersey after yet another impressive campaign.

The long-serving shot stopper has broken a number of club records during his time as a Raider and is excited about new challenges ahead this term.

"I'm really looking forward to the start of the season," said Gray.

"The new league is going to be a massive challenge for the Raiders. The club as a whole has done an amazing job in getting a team prepared for this new league and I can't wait to be a part of it."

The former Slough junior revealed it was an easy decision to return to his beloved club which he holds in high regard.

"This is the only club I want to play for and it has a place in my heart as I've had the pleasure of playing for the Raiders for 10 seasons, with the odd little break," he joked.

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"I'm so happy that the coaching staff wanted me back as the team is shaping up very nicely with me looking like the granddad of the team this year!

"I also want to thank the fans for the amazing ongoing support they give us every week."

Joining Gray in between the pipes for the upcoming season is youngster Windebank who makes the step up from the Romford Junior Raiders side.

The 17-year-old had an impressive debut senior campaign playing in National League Division Two and caught the eye of many, including Raiders head coach Sean Easton.

"I was very surprised when Sean approached me about signing for the Raiders this season as I have only played one full season in adult hockey," Windebank said.

"It was a really enjoyable season. Seeing so much ice time and facing a lot of shots, it was definitely a steep learning curve.

"I know I will be playing a different role this season being a back-up, but I am really looking forward to the step up and if I am called upon I will play to the best of my ability to help the team in anyway possible."

Windebank has described signing for his hometown club as an 'honour' after following the team avidly.

"It is a real honour to sign for the Raiders, especially now we are back in Romford where I began playing for the juniors some 12 years ago now," he added.

"I have watched the Raiders home and away as a fan since I was three, so it is a real privilege to sign.

"I am very grateful for this opportunity and the faith coach has in my game and can't wait to get started now and hear the Raiders fans get behind us home and away."