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Record breaking goalie Gray is delighted to be returning for eighth year with Raiders

PUBLISHED: 19:40 03 May 2018

Michael Gray in action for the Raiders last season (Pic: John Scott)

Michael Gray in action for the Raiders last season (Pic: John Scott)

Archant

Everyone Active Raiders have announced the re-signing of last season’s Players’ Player of the Year Michael Gray for 2018/19.

The long-serving goalie will return for his eighth straight season at the club despite originally starting last season from the sidelines before returning in November after Euan King left to join Peterborough Phantoms.

And the 26-year-old Gray, who has made 249 appearances for the club and holds a host of records, is delighted to be back for another campaign.

“I’m really happy to be back again as I love the club and couldn’t really think of playing for another,” he said.

Gray, who made his Raiders debut in November 2008 and has also played for Slough, Chelmsford, Streatham and Invicta during his senior career, revealed winning the Players’ Player award was a great feeling and he hopes to continue his great form from last season.

“Receiving that award was an amazing feeling as so many of the team played so well all year,” he added.

“I think last season was the best I’ve played in senior hockey and I fell back in love with the sport so made it very easy to say yes.”

Former Slough junior Gray holds the records for most appearances for Raiders as a goalie, most minutes played (11779), most shots faced (7358) and saves (6610).

But he admitted he never sets personal targets, but is expecting the side to improve on their fourth place in the National League Division One South, saying: “I never set personal goals apart from play the best I can for the team, but as team targets we have got to be pushing for top three this year and I will be disappointed if we don’t.”

Last season Gray made 36 appearances and produced a 90.3 save percentage record and he improved as the season went on.

Gray is now excited about the first full season in their new home Romford’s Sapphire Ice and Leisure Centre, adding: “I can’t wait, the rink is amazing it already feels like home.

“The fans have been great since going back there with all the extra support but I think the fans that travelled to Lee Valley with us deserve a massive thank you.”

The goalie is the first signing announcement for the 2018/19 squad and there will be regular updates throughout the summer.

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