Fife Flyers time out before building for next season

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Fife Flyers will take stock before beginning their team building for next season.

With the curtain down on the 2014-15 campaign, the players have started to head home - some have already tweeted their farewells and thanks.

Head coach Todd Dutiaume has met with his players as part of the club’s end of season wash-up, but there are unlikely to be any instant announcements.

‘‘I know in this day and age people want news right off the bat, but we will take time to reflect on the type of line-up we want to put together for next season to get the club moving forward. Some tough decisions will be made, and we want to take our time and make the right calls.’’

Dutiaume will have an idea of which players are keen to return and who plans to move on - either in Europe or back in North America - and he will also have his own views on what worked and where improvements are needed after a frustrating season saw Flyers struggle to repeat the heights of 2013-14.

In his post-game briefing after Wednesday’s Scottish Select-Romania game - which featured a core of the Fife squad including imports Ned Lukacevic, Bobby Chaumont, Niko Suoraniemi and Matt Nickerson - he spoke of the rising standards of the league and the challenge of raising the bar.

‘‘The league is getting more competitive every year,’’ he said. ‘‘This year five different teams won five trophies, and results across the weekends were hard to predict. Some teams had excellent seasons but no-one swept more than piece of silverware.’’

And he pointed to Coventry’s turnaround from tenth place to play-off finals champions as a starter for ten next season.

The Blaze line-up included former Fife captain Justin DaCosta who joined mid-season and ended with a winner’s medal.

‘‘We were delighted for him,’’ he said. ‘‘He came back to the country and joined a team that, at the time, didn’t really expect to win anything, but turned it right round. That’s a great accomplishment.

‘‘They were down in tenth but battled right back to win silverware. That made us quite envious too - we’ve been in that position - but it also showed up what the next step is for this club. We want to be in that position where we are challenging for trophies.

‘‘I know there are aspirations in the grandstands and they are reflected in the dressing room and boardroom.

‘‘We want that fabric woven in to our dressing-room through the players we recruit and the players who return - hockey has their number one priority.’’

Dutiaume admitted a lot of his team opted out of attending the finals weekend, preferring instead to stay locally, or begin packing up and heading home.

‘‘A lot of players go to the weekend finals, but once you have played there then it isn’t the same carnioval weekend sitting watching,’’ he said.