New Fife Flyers signing Ryan Dingle has revealed his connection to a Fife legend played a key role in his decision to sign for the club.
Dingle played under former Flyers coach Mark Morrison at Victoria Salmon Kings in the East Coast Hockey League during season 2010-11.
Mo, who guided Flyers to a Grandslam in 2000, had encouraged the centreman to consider a move to Fife, so after deciding to call time on a four-year spell with Cortina in Italy, Dingle was delighted to take up the offer from Flyers.
“My initial connection with the Flyers goes back to Mark Morrison, who was my coach when I played in Victoria,” Dingle confirmed.
“Mark played several years with the Flyers and always mentioned that the team might be a good fit for me.
“After four years of playing in Cortina, I was looking for a change and then the Flyers contacted my agent saying they were interested in signing me.
“I remembered that Mark had played there and had a great experience.
“I trust his judgement and opinion as a former coach and once I heard more about Fife and the league in general, I decided it would be a good fit for my next endeavour.”
Dingle also revealed he has a family connection in Scotland and is looking forward to moving to the country.
“To be honest, I was ready for a change of scenery and to continue my professional career in a different league,” he said.
“One of the best parts of my job is being able to explore different parts of the world and learn about different cultures while playing hockey.
“My brother-in-law is actually from Stewarton – that was definitely a part of signing in Scotland.
“My wife and I have never been to Scotland and when the opportunity presented itself, it seemed like a good fit for us.”
Dingle brings a wealth of experience to Flyers with a career spanning spells in the ECHL and AHL in North America, and Italy’s Serie A.
“I had a great college career at the University of Denver, and then played professionally in North America for four seasons before making the switch to Italy,” Dingle said.
“I preferred playing in Europe because the way the game is played there fitted better with my own style of play.
“My wife and I will always hold Cortina close to our hearts; we were engaged there and made many wonderful friends and memories there, but we are ready for a new adventure and opportunity.”
While Dingle’s scoring stats make for impressive reading – he averaged over a point per game in Italy – the 31-year-old insists he takes the defensive side of the game just as seriously.
“I consider myself a strong two-way forward who has a knack for scoring while also being responsible defensively in my own zone,” he said.
Dingle won a national cup during his time in Italy and his aim is to help bring silverware to Flyers next season.
“The ultimate goal would be to help the Flyers win the championship,” he said. “I’m looking forward to a successful season starting in a few months.
“I’m definitely excited to get out there and start playing.”