Experienced defenceman Jim Jorgensen is relishing his return to the EIHL – and confident of making a contribution for Fife Flyers.
The 32-year-old, from Michigan, stepped off the plane last Thursday and made his debut in a winning Kingdom side, which defeated Braehead Clan 7-1 on Saturday.
Jorgensen, of course, has plenty of experience of Flyers from the other side of the fence, as he has played for Braehead, Sheffield and Coventry.
However, he said he was happy to be playing in the league once again and already enjoying his time in the Lang Toun.
“This (Fife Ice Arena) is always a tough building to come to and play against these guys but I am really happy to be here, especially being back in the league,” he said.
“I think it’s going to be a special team this year.
“I wanted to play and there was a need here in Fife,” he added. “It just seemed to be a good fit for both of us.
“I love the league and it’s getting better every year I have been here. The fans are awesome and make you feel welcome on every team I have been on.
“I see no difference in Fife – everything here has been great so far.”
Jorgensen hoped he might be able to bring his experience and perhaps a calming influence to the Lang Toun line-up.
“But it seems the guys have handled it pretty well just now,” he said. “Anything I can do to keep the ship going in the right direction – that’s what I am going to do.”
The Flyers had a fairly clear idea of what was required in this weekend’s double date with Belfast, away on Saturday, then Braehead at home on Sunday, following last weekend’s win over Braehead and loss to Guildford.
“It was nice for me to go to Braehead and play on a rink I am familiar with,” he said.
“I feel confortable there, so it was a good first game to get my feet wet.
“On Sunday, personally, I didn’t play as well. We got off to a slower start than Saturday – that’s maybe what hurt us but we know what we did wrong and, hopefully, we can right that wrong.”
The US import also said the travelling involved around the country to some fixtures could often help with the game preparations.
“It does help if you can kind of relax and take it for what it is,” he said. “In my younger days I would get all fired up up about having to travel all day to play a game but there’s nothing you can do about it, so you enjoy your time with the guys, eat and sleep when you can, and try not to get mentally worked up about it.”
Jorgensen said improvements had come a long way since his earlier days in the EIHL. “It’s getting better every year – it’s attracting guys from the top leagues in Europe and the NHL,” he said. “Word is getting around about what a good standard it is, and it’s a good lifestyle.”
This was Jorgensen’s sixth or seventh season in the UK and he and his wife regarded it as a second home. “It’s been a kind of easy transition so far – there are more North Americans and everybody speaks English,” he said. “The only differences are the plugs and driving on the other side of the road!”