THE ice hockey season is over, but for Fife Flyers coach Todd Dutiaume attention is already turning to next season.
An under-strength Flyers team signed off a successful 2010-11 campaign with back-to-back friendly wins over Paisley Pirates at the weekend, following on from their East Coast Cup defeat to Edinburgh Capitals last Thursday.
Flyers lost just one competitive match in the Northern League this season en route to a championship and play-off double, now the focus shifts to delivering an improved hockey product in Kirkcaldy in time for next season.
Dutiaume admitted that he would like to see his team challenged more, and he hopes to speak to club bosses in the coming weeks to mull over both his, and the club’s future.
“I definitely have to sit down and talk to them because I have some concerns of my own,” he said.
“I want to know what their intentions are for next season, because I want us to push on and play against better teams. I know there are strides being made but we can’t just make up a league.
“Playing against an improved Whitley Bay and against the Elite teams in the East Coast Cup gave me back my thirst for hockey.
“I don’t think fans see the best of me and top guys like Sammy, Lynchy and Wilson when we don’t need to get into top gear to win games.
“I’d like to be kept in the loop over what’s happening because there’s nothing worse as a coach than sitting in limbo all summer, especially when all my guys are asking me what’s happening and I have to tell them I don’t know.”
Flyers hopes of adding the East Coast Cup to their trophy haul were ended at Dundee Ice Arena on Thursday where despite goals from Josh Scoon, Steven McAlpine and Andy Samuel, they lost 4-3 to Edinburgh in the semi-final.
Dutiaume, who missed the game due to work commitments with the fire service, said: “It was a bit tough for the guys to get up for things when they thought their season was going to be over after the play-offs.
“But there’s our fans to think about, and we they deserve our best, so they guys tried their hardest but just came up short.”
Flyers were then comfortable winners in both challenge matches against SNL outfit Paisley claiming a 6-2 win at Fife Ice Arena on Saturday before returning a 3-1 win at Braehead on Sunday.
Dutiaume added: “It gave us a chance to reward some of the young guys who’ve trained with us all year with some game time, but we weren’t taxed in the games.”