From fan to player for Fife Flyers’ new signing Craig Moore

Craig Moore - Fife Flyers new signing
Craig Moore - Fife Flyers new signing

Fife Flyers’ new signing Craig Moore says he is “excited” to be pulling on the shirt of the team he grew up supporting.

The Glenrothes-born blue-liner returned to the Kingdom on Tuesday to sign up at the Fife Ice Arena with the agreement of his current club, Cardiff Devils.

Moore will ice with Flyers for the remainder of the season.

The 23-year old will help to bolster Flyers’ blue line just as the team gets back into a winning groove after a brief run of defeats.

A former pupil of Glenrothes High School, Moore was a Flyers season ticket holder growing up and said watching the team inspired him to take up the sport.

“It was back in the BNL days and I had a season ticket until I moved away,” he said.

“I played for Fife Junior Development until I was around 15 before moving to North America so I’m really excited to be here.

“It’s a nice feeling to be home.”

Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume said he is delighted to see Moore at the club and revealed he is a player that he has been watching for the last three years.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “It came up unexpectedly but we jumped at the opportunity to strengthen our young British core, which is something we‘ve been working on.

“I think what Craig does is adds depth. Also, it’s another local boy playing for this club which really is our mantra because with 14 imports we’ve struggled to ice them consistently.

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“We want local players to play for their local team, certainly the bosses have said that’s what they want to see, and Craig fits the bill in those categories.

“He’s had nearly four years experience in the Elite League so he can become a mentor to our younger guys and show them how hard you need to work on and off the ice.

“He’s a player that can play consistently in this league and certainly gives us more options in the line-up.”

Moore’s junior career was spent in North America. He enjoyed two seasons with Ogden Mustangs in the WSHL after playing at Midget AAA level with Maroon Mavericks.

His skills caught the eye of the GB coaches, and he was part of the under-18 and under 20 team.

In 2015 he was part of Team GB which won gold at the world junior championships.

Now his return north will give him the opportunity to log solid ice time after a knee injury ended his 2017-18 campaign last November.

Prior to that he had two excellent seasons with Dundee Stars between 2015-17 before heading to the Valleys.

“Cardiff were great with me once I got the injury and I stayed there for the rest of the year,” he said.

“They put in a lot of time and effort to get me back into playing condition. During my time out I viewed it from a different angle and I got to see parts of the game I wouldn’t usually from up in the gantry.

“It was a real learning curve and I’m really grateful that Cardiff stuck with me and gave me that chance to get back.

“They’ve got a really good team this year so coming back it’s been harder for me to get some ice time so this is a geat opportunity for me to develop my game and do what I can to help the Flyers.”

Jeff Hutchins, Flyers’ assistant coach, said: “We were approached a week ago by Cardiff GM, Todd Kelman, about the possibility of Craig joining us for the rest of the season.

“It was an easy decision for us – he is an up and coming player who will help boost our defensive core.”

He added: “He is looking for a bigger role to aid in his development and we are in a position to help him out.

“He knows what is expected of him coming in.

“He does a lot of things well on the ice and he is a good honest young man that is trying to put himself in a situation that will advance his career.”

The D-man says one thing that he can guarantee is the Fife fans will see a player full of energy and enthusiasm.

“Night in , night out you’re going to get 100 per cent out of me,” he said.

“I’m a bit of a grafter and I think hard work is at the core of my identity.

“I like to just bring that everyday because I’m driven to be the best I can be, that’s been instilled into me at a young age.

“That’s the main thing, but out on the ice I’m more than capable of playing. I can bring a lot of calmness and composure to my game and, in my opinion, for a young guy that’s quite a big quality.

“So I’m going to do whatever I can to better myself and better the team.”

He steps into a Flyers side sitting fourth top, and is looking ahead to a big derby aginst Glasgow Clan this Saturday in front of a noisy crowd.

“It’s a huge thing coming into a team that can compete for trophies,” he said.

“That’s evident, you can see it in the league this year where we’re sitting in fourth spot.

“You always want to be in a team that’s competitive and every time you go out there’s a chance of winning.

“Hopefully I can contribute to bringing some silverware here and build on what Fife did last year.

“This game against Glasgow is a really good one to come back to.

“I’m excited. I’ve been here as a fan, I’ve been here playing against Fife in this rink and it’s a pretty cool and really loud place to play.

“It’s going to be a big game so hopefully it’ll be a packed out rink for my first game back in Fife.”