Fife Flyers: 5 things we learned from fifth straight defeat

A tough 5-1 defeat to Manchester Storm on Sunday saw fans start to leave the rink early – and there weren’t that many there to begin with. Our takeaways from a tough weekend for the team:

By Allan Crow
Monday, 13th December 2021, 8:59 am

Where have the fans gone:Two attendances, two rinks - and a growing gap between them.

On Sunday, Glasgow Clan played in front of 2363 people.

On the same day, Fife Flyers mustered just 901 fans rinkside.

Pic: Jillian McFarlane

The days when 2000 was the benchmark for attendances in Kirkcaldy are slipping into the past, and memories of 3000-houses are beginning to feel nostalgic.

When crowds dip into three figures alarm bells must start ringing.

Sunday’s attendance only just beat the season low of 882 - a graveyard midweek game against Belfast Giants - and it is clear the club has struggled to get fans back after an 18-month lockdown, or create any real buzz around the team or sport.

This season’s crowds have drifted from 1100 to to 1500, but the trend is downward.

Pic: Jillian McFarlane

Flyers now seem to rely entirely on a core of around 1000 fans, and that is concerning.

The team’s five-game losing streak isn’t helping, but the club has to take a long, hard look at how it can lapsed fans back through the doors.

A gate-driven club with a declining gate is one facing real issues.

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Fife Flyers’ toil in defeat to Manchester as crowd drops to three figures

Toy appeal:

Despite the drop in numbers, the fans continue to be as generous as ever.Sunday saw the club’s annual toy appeal, and dozens upon dozens of bags of gifts were handed in.

COVID restrictions meant the usual on-ice collection couldn’t take place - the very limited interaction between players and fans continues to be a source of frustration tor all - so huge credit to the supporters club for running with and ensuring that many local children will get a gift this Christmas

Playing short:

Playing short you can’t afford to carry injuries - but playing short means players get hurt.

Fife Flyers saw three players scratched from the line-up this weekend, and will be without team captain Matt Carter until at least Christmas.

Those absences were painfully evident as they toiled to a 5-1 loss to Manchester Storm on Sunday, and underlined the need to get more bodies in.

December’s schedule is unrelenting.

Flyers cannot afford to lose any more skaters.

Five wins, five losses:Flyers have come full circle in the past month.

In November the team hit a wee purple patch and started to show its true identity with five wins and some excellent performances.

There was a confidence about their play as things started to click - but the flip side is a five-game losing streak which has taken them to the bottom of the table, underlining that no team can afford to log pointless weekends without taking a hefty hit.

It’s all too easy to slide into tenth spot, and much, much harder to escape from it.

New face:Good luck to James Spence, the Glenrothes skater who has joined Fife Flyers and logged his first point at the weekend.

He has trained with the club whenever he was home after spells in Ontario and Poland - it could be a baptism of fire as injuries hit the team, propelling him straight on to the ice.

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