Steve Duncombe expanded the local connection by persuading Blackburn born forward James Royds to return to the Hawks for another season.
The 19yr old stands 5ft 11inches tall and weighs in at 143lbs.
James started his career when, as a 12yr old, he suited up for the Blackburn Kestrels’ under 16 team, making 7 appearances and scoring 2 goals.
The following season, James took is talents across the border to join the Bradford junior set up at U16 level.
In seasons 13-14 and 14-15 James split his ice time between the Bulldogs U16 and 18 teams, wearing the “C” for the 16’s and an “A” for the 18’s. 2015-16 was his breakthrough season and once again his talents were split. 18 games for the U18’s and 20 for the Bulldogs senior team in the NIHL.
The lure of his hometown team was too hard to resist and in season 2016-17 and whilst representing the Bulldogs 19 times, he played 9 times for the Hawks.
Last season he played 32 league games for the Hawks, scoring 8 goals and 11 assists, impressing the fans and obviously coach Duncombe enough to ask him back for next season’s campaign.
In an impressive junior career, James played Conference hockey at Under 11,13,15 and 17 levels.
58 games in U16 hockey brought him 36 goals and 42 assists, 62 games at U-18 level saw him bulge the net 50 times to add to his 62 assists.
To date, in 78 NIHL league and cup competitions, he has scored 18 goals and 22 assists and Hawks fans can look forward to more of the same this coming season.
On re-signing for the Hawks James said, “I’m really happy to be back with the Hawks again for another season! After talking to Duncs about the plans for the season and seeing the new names coming in I’m confident it’ll be a good year”.
Coach Duncombe said on re-signing James, “It’s great Having Royd’s back for another season. He’s a great two way forward who seems to get better every game. We are trying to build a team that will be a force to be recon with not just this year but for years to come. I feel that signing players such as Royd’s is crucial for this clubs future development. He was an easy signing to make and he really puts everything he has into every game and I cant wait to see what he can produce playing alongside Robin Kovar and the rest of the team”