Fife Flyers: James Isaacs on life after retirement - playing in Argentina

James Isaacs may have called time on his career, but his schedule is set to be busier than ever.

Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 8:53 am

The Fife Flyers’ defenceman hung up his skates after five seasons with the Kirkcaldy club, and nine in the EIHL.

And he departed the dressing-room as Fife’s ‘iron man’ after playing his 306th, and final, game to lead the club’s non homegrown players in official EIHL appearances.

And he was the last player from the 2013-14 campaign to depart the league, signing off a season after former team-mate Scott Aarssen, the second last member of the 13-14 Club.

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James Isaacs with the Gardiner Conference trophy. Pic: Steve Gunn

Any thoughts of a leisurely stroll into retirement are not on the cards as the player looks to relocate to work in London, complete his Masters dissertation - and eyes up playing roller hockey in Argentina.

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Isaacs graduated with honours in banking law and finance from Abertay University before turning his attention to his Masters.

The end goal could take him south to start work in the coming months.

James Isaacs in action against Aalborg Pirates (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)

“Ten years ago I’d never have thought that could happen - but it is something I really want to do.

“If everything works out with a job in London I could start in January.

“Between work and the time off to travel it’s a new start. It sure takes the pressure off retirement.”

And the dressing-room will remain part of his life as he swaps his skates for roller blades and heads 7000 miles to Buenos Aires for the Roller Games.

James Isaacs hung up his skates at the end of the 2021022 season (Pic: Steve Gunn)

The championships are slated to start in September, and, for Isaacs, it would lead to a unique achievement.

“If I get to play with the Canadian team I will have played hockey on every continent,” he said.

The blueliner has been part of the national set up since 2015 when the team won gold in Italy, and the chance to visit to Argentina will also allow him to go backpacking in South America - just as the next Fife team takes to the ice.

Fife Flyers Hockey Show, staged with the Fife Free Press - James Isaacs with netminder Adam Morrison (Pic: Derek Young)

The bonds forged in the Kirkcaldy dressing-room, however, will remain strong.

“I’ve made lifelong friends here, and I keep in touch with guys I’ve played with over the years - I must speak to Carlo Finucci ever day,” he said.

The season just ended was arguably the toughest as the team struggled from day one, but there have been many highs as well.

“Winning the conference was a lot of fun and the next year was great too - we went really close until injuries hit us.

“This season wasn’t a great year but sometimes that’s how things go.

“We lost a ton of confidence in January and February when we didn’t play any weak teams - it was Sheffield, then Nottingham and Belfast continuously. That’s tough, and then you see the team going down in the standings.

“It’s funny - when school gets tough, you go to hockey to stay balanced, and vice versa - but this year was also when I started making applications for jobs and adding that perhaps put me over the edge some weeks.

“I’ve finished all my course work and my dissertation is due in August - that’s another reason to hang up the skates.

“To see it come together is pretty exciting.”