Raiders return for McGrath

Power forward back for another term

Romford Raiders are delighted to announce that JJ McGrath will be back in gold and blue for the new National Ice Hockey League campaign.

McGrath has proved a big hit with fans at Rom Valley Way with his gritty, hard-hitting approach.

And he also contributed key goals for Danny Marshall’s men as they claimed a league and trophy double last season, averaging a point per game.

Team manager Mick Cahill said: “JJ proved last year that he’s more than just a tough guy. He scored some huge goals for us and, with Tom (Davis) and Grant (Taylor) was part of a trio that may have started life as a checking line, but turned into one of our most effective sets of forwards.

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“If it’s considered a third line, I have no doubt it’s the best in the league.”

Former club junior McGrath, who spent several years playing in Canada before returning home, came in for some criticism earlier in his Raiders career as he fell foul of officials.

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But Cahill believes he has improved on that front, adding: “Discipline-wise, JJ is still prepared to stand up for his team-mates, but avoided the red mist most of the time and didn’t serve a single suspension last season.

“He had a bit of a moment at Chelmsford in the Essex Cup, but you might recall that he wasn’t the only one!

“Sure, he likes playing to the crowd but Raiders’ fans love him and thank goodness we still have some characters like him left in the game.

“People outside of Romford underrate JJ at their peril.“

The signing of McGrath takes the Raiders roster to 12, as he joins goalie Shane Kemp, defencemen Julian Smith, Ryan Giles, Jason Buckman, forwards Frankie Harvey, AJ Smith, Matt Turner and Shaun Yardley, as well as import duo Juraj Huska and Andrius Kaminskas and player-coach Marshall.

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