Romford Junior Raiders sign forward James Hounsome
- Credit: Mark Saunders
Romford Junior Raiders have added forward James Hounsome ahead of the 2021-22 season.
The 22-year-old, born in Portsmouth, played two seasons at Okanagan Hockey Academy in the UK between 2012-14.
He then moved to Canada to hone his skills at youth level, joining the Everest Academy in 2016.
After a year in the academy, he represented Great Britain under-18s in the 2016-17 World Junior Championships (Div 2A).
His young career then took him to Boston in the United States, where he played for the East Coast Spartans Under-18s – also featuring four times in the North American Hockey League with the Brookings Blizzard.
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Hounsome returned to the UK and joined Milton Keynes Lightning ahead of the 2018/19 season and played in the Elite League six times before joining Solent Devils for the rest of the campaign.
The young winger then re-signed with Alex Murray’s side the next season but only appeared twice and has been without a club since.
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“It feels good to get back to playing again. Obviously the pandemic has stopped everyone in their career although it was nice to take a break from the game and relax,” Hounsome said.
“It did take a toll on how rusty I was coming back to our first training session in February and at some points I literally thought I might never get my old self back. Sure enough I’m back to having my skills as they were before after brushing the dust off and I can’t wait to get started.”
Head coach Mark Saunders added: “I’m delighted to announce James will be joining us for the 2021-22 season, after what has been a very long lay-off.
“He initially agreed for the Spring Cups but they never materialised, so I’m excited to see him get started in September at last. He skates very well, has size and a heavy shot and I’m looking for him to drive our scoring and offensive threats.
“A smart player who has played at England and GB level, played in Canada and also has NIHL1 experience already, he will be a huge part of the team throughout the season.”
League news has also been confirmed as Bristol Pitbulls, Chelmsford Chieftains, Invicta Dynamos, MK Thunder, Oxford City Stars, Slough Jets, Solent Devils and defending champions Streatham IHC will joins Raiders in the nine-team division from September.
The clubs will play each other twice home and away to complete the league campaign which starts on September 11 and runs through until April 10.