Raiders forward Ayliffe 'emotional' about full season after re-signing
- Credit: John Scott
Everyone Active Raiders forward Brandon Ayliffe is ‘emotional’ about the thought of returning to the ice for a full season following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The young winger scooped his third consecutive Supporters’ Player of the Year award by gaining the fans' vote following the conclusion of the 2019-20 campaign.
The 22-year-old impressed with a career high in goals and points as he found the net 23 times and picked up 21 assists for a total of 44 points during the National League season.
The former Romford junior had agreed to return for 2020/21 which never was but did feature during the 12-game NIHL Spring Cup for Raiders.
He iced in all of the games, finding the net four times and adding a further seven assists for a total of 11 points.
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“I can’t hold the emotions of getting back to playing a full season, playing the series was fantastic but that only made me get the itch for more hockey,” Ayliffe admitted.
“The Spring Cup in my opinion was a great competition throughout, every game was tough, which I like because it makes you work harder and push your limits.
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“Also with the pandemic going on in the world it gave a chance for UK ice hockey to get back up and running.”
The former Chelmsford Chieftains forward revealed it has been tough not playing regularly but has found other ways to keep himself ticking over.
“It hasn't been easy but you've got to adapt to different scenarios. At the start it was hard with no hockey at all, it was hard to do my normal routine but I did manage to get the rollers out and keep working on my game.”
Ayliffe is also is setting the bar high for both himself and the team next season in the National League, adding: “My personal goal is to carry on where I left off in the Spring Cup and I felt like I had more in me.
“Team goals just keep pushing ourselves every week, make it to Coventry to bring back some silverware to the cabinet.”
Ayliffe joins fellow forwards Jacob Ranson and Erik Piatak in agreeing to return for the 2021-22 season with more announcements due in the coming weeks.