FIFE Flyers are back in the big time – and now they want your support to help keep them there.
Club directors took the bold decision last week to submit an application to join the UK’s top ice hockey teams in the Elite League.
Their bid was accepted at an EIHL meeting last Thursday, thrusting the oldest team in Britain back to the very top of the sport.
The move is a costly one, with EIHL teams permitted up to 10 imports, and Todd Dutiaume, who will be announced as the club’s first EIHL coach within the coming week, has urged the people of Kirkcaldy and beyond to get behind the team.
“I’m sure there will be a good buzz around town, and now it’s time for all the nay-sayers from the past few years to come out and support us,” he said.
“It’s an expensive league to play in, so the more support the club gets through the door, the more it will help the team.”
Over 600 people signed an on-line petition calling for Fife to join the EIHL, and Dutiaume hopes that will be reflected in season ticket sales.
He added: “It’s easy to sign up to a petition. It’s not so easy to sign up to a season ticket.
“The proof will be in the pudding when we see how many season tickets we sell. We’ve struggled to get a league identity over the last few years, now we’re stepping up to the highest level of hockey in Britain, so hopefully we’ll get the support.”
As player-coach over the last six years, Dutiaume guided Fife to numerous titles, but with competitive games few and far between, he recently called on club bosses to give his team a more meaningful challenge. He is delighted that they have responded.
“The club has made the decision to go Elite, and as a coach and player its and exciting challenge,” he said. “We’ll aim to put together the best team we can and see how we adjust to a higher level.”
Dutiaume’s first port of call will be to gather the players who have served him during the Northern League era for a team meeting, before he casts his net further afield to bring in the star imports needed to compete in the EIHL.
“There’s going to be some tough decisions to make in the upcoming weeks,” he said. “We’ll need to see who can make the step up and who can’t.
“My hope is that our local guys embrace what’s coming and work harder than they’ve ever worked before. Even the best players on our team are going to have to step their game up exponentially.”
Fife Flyers in the Elite League:
Season tickets: Adult - £350; OAP/Student – £240; Child – £175. Family discount of £50 for third family member. Includes 27 league games.
Gold pass: Single price - £480. Includes 27 league games, four Challenge Cup games, match programme, framed team photo and 15% discount at club shop.
Silver pass: Single price - £450. Includes 27 league games, four Challenge Cup games, match programme, and 10% discount at club shop.
Bronze pass: Single price - £400. Includes 27 league games, four Challenge Cup games and 10% discount at club shop.
10 game flexi-pass: Adult - £135. OAP/Student – £90; Child – £70. No reserved seat.
Match night: Adults - £15; OAP/Student - £10; Child £8.
Programme help: Flyers are seeking contributors to help with next season’s match programme. Anyone interested should call Fife Ice Arena on 595100 or contact the Flyers webmaster via www.fifeflyers.co.uk.
All season tickets go on sale from Fife Ice Arena from Monday.