Invicta Dynamos Player-Coach Anthony Leone has completed his netminding trio for the 2021/22 season with 22 year old Zachary Grandy-Smith and 18 year old Owen Rider returning to deputise for new signing Ben Clements.
Zachary Grandy-Smith is a former Chelmsford junior who then switched to nearby rivals Raiders IHC to make his senior NIHL South Division 1 debut in 2017/18. Providing back-up during his first term at that level he played 297 minutes of 45 games and denied 89.95% of efforts on his net. The following season he competed for the Raiders’ NIHL South Division 2 outfit before a move to the Dynamos beckoned in 2019/20.
Grandy-Smith originally signed for the Mos as a prospect with the aim of deputising and developing his game throughout the campaign but he was quickly thrust into the thick of the action when the team’s netminder tally dwindled from three to two. Suddenly finding himself as the most senior goalie on the roster, Grandy-Smith played 1694 minutes for the side in 33 games and finished the competitive year saving 88.39% of 1154 attempts on target. Having coped well with his baptism of fire the young shot stopper now returns to the club for another year looking to continue his development with the aim of staking his claim for a starting spot.
Talking on his return to the Mos Zachary Grandy-Smith said, “I’m very happy to be back at Invicta. In my first season I found there to be an amazing atmosphere made by a great set of fans who always got behind the boys regardless of the situation so I’m delighted to be staying put. The supporters really are the sixth man on the ice and create an environment like nowhere else in the league. We have a strong line-up and hopefully we can do well for them in 2021/22. After a long break I’m super keen to get back on the ice and be back in the room with the boys doing my part for the Dynamos.”
Having re-signed Grandy-Smith, Player-Coach Anthony Leone said, “Zack is still a young netminder who will have learned a lot from suddenly being thrown into the deep end during 2019/20. Despite the difficult challenge and burden of suddenly becoming the starting goalie he coped well and showed he has the potential to be a regular at this level. With an almost full year of NIHL hockey now behind him, his own determination to continue developing and the likes of Ben Clements to learn from I’ve no doubt the best of Zack is still to come and I’m very happy to be working with him again in 2021/22.”
Zachary Grandy-Smith will wear the number 31 jersey for the Dynamos in 2021/22.
Also making a comeback for 2021/22 is Owen Rider – a young homegrown netminder with huge potential. Rider is a product of the Invicta junior setup and progressed through the youth ranks swiftly, often playing up a level beyond his years. In 2018/19 he was icing for the Invicta Broncos under 18s whilst aged just 15 and his performances and fast development prompted Player-Coach Anthony Leone to call him into the Dynamos fold for 2019/20.
Expected to use the season for experience and continue his progression, Rider was thrust into the action perhaps more than anticipated featuring for 400 minutes in 12 outings. Despite his young age he stood up to the challenge conceding just 29 goals from 259 efforts for a save percentage of 88.80%. Having shown he can handle the bigger stage the promising goalie is now staying put with his hometown club looking to continue his development also put his name in the hat for a starting place in seasons to come.
Speaking on his first season with the Dynamos and the second which is now to come, Owen Rider said, “I felt my first year with the Mos went surprisingly well as I wasn’t expecting to get as much ice time as I did. The season obviously got cut short due to Covid but I felt we had more to give and now we’ll get to show that this year. Coming back was an easy decision for me – the Dynamos is a great club to be a part of and it’s always a great feeling to be playing in front of the best fans in the league. My personal goal this year is to work hard and earn my spot with the aim of fighting for that number one place in the coming seasons. After the long break I’m very keen to get back on the ice playing in front of a full crowd again. Looking at our team this season I think the fans should be very excited as this is a strong, winning line-up.”
After re-signing Owen Rider, Player-Coach Anthony Leone said, “Owen is one of our own and a bright talent that I see becoming a mainstay at this club for years to come. He has the potential and desire to do well for this team and time is definitely on his side. Owen was thrown into the deep end with more ice time than he expected last term but he didn’t look out of place despite his youth. He continues to go from strength to strength and I’m delighted to have him on board with us for another campaign where he can learn from a senior goalie like Ben Clements and continuing taking strides forward.”
Own Rider will wear the number 30 jersey for the Dynamos in 2021/22.
Warm-up Jersey – For just £125 get your name or logo printed on the back of Zachary Grandy-Smith or Owen Rider’s warm-up jersey. Sponsors are also named on our website and in our match day programme and then presented with the jersey to keep at the end of the season.
Game jerseys – For just £175 get your name or logo printed on the back of Zachary Grandy-Smith or Owen Rider’s home or away game jerseys (including all replicas). Want both? For just £300 get your name or logo on the back of each of Zachary Grandy-Smith or Owen Rider’s game jerseys. Sponsors are also named on our website and in our match day programme, are announced over the loudspeaker during player introductions at every home game, receive a programme advert (business sponsors only), get their logo placed on our official website (business sponsors only) and are presented with their jersey (one shirt) at the end of the season.
Contact Sarah Parrish by email at Sarah@invictadynamos.co.uk for player sponsorship details or enquiries.