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Raiders planning to play in the new top NIHL division

PUBLISHED: 17:00 05 March 2019

Raiders Sean Barry celebrates a goal with his team-mates (Pic: John Scott)

Raiders Sean Barry celebrates a goal with his team-mates (Pic: John Scott)

Archant

Everyone Active Raiders are intending to play in the new top division of NIHL following the news of EIHA’s statement on the league structure for the 2019/20 season.

The Romford-based club have been involved in club level discussions for some weeks now in an effort to take part in a competitive league for next season.

This included a team owners and coaches meeting in Milton Keynes where the fundamentals of a national competition were discussed with the emphasis on sustainability and hopefully a similar standard.

The logistics of greater travelling and budget disparity were amongst the many subjects.

The talks were not limited to the new national league however and the effect that the new league would have on the leagues below was also discussed.

Raiders chief executive John Scott said: “As the EIHA announcement states, there are still a number of areas to be fleshed out in terms of the precise content and balance of the member teams in what will presumably still be called NIHL south and north divisions 1 and 2.

“We assume that the new league will be called the NIHL national league or similar and of course the more senior teams from the existing North and South leagues are the most likely to be populating the new league.

“If that turns out to be the finally agreed format after the team meeting later this month then it is essentially a re-visiting of the last EPL structure with the addition of the Raiders.

“With respect to a national version of the NIHL then Raiders would be delighted to be part of that.

“During this season the Raiders have beaten all of the top four teams at least twice and it feels like the right level to be playing.

“However it would need the present crowd levels to be maintained because there can be no doubt that the additional travelling will make it a more expensive league to operate in.

“The balance between the level of competition and the number of wins is a difficult one to keep the fans happy but we are pretty confident that the gold and blue will have our backs throughout this bold move.”

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