Kyle Just already feeling at home with Fife Flyers

Kyle Just, Fife Flyers. Pic: Jillian McFarlane
Kyle Just, Fife Flyers. Pic: Jillian McFarlane

After racking up seven teams in the past four years, Kyle Just is relishing the prospect of a completing a full season with Fife Flyers.

The 28-year-old has had a nomadic career path since swapping his Canadian homeland for the ice pads of Europe in 2015, competing across various countries and leagues.

Last season alone the Ontario native moved between Italy, Germany and Finland before making his way to the UK, and Fife, for the 2019-20 campaign.

Having quickly settled into life in the Elite League, Just already feels at home in Kirkcaldy and is hoping to stick around for the long haul.

“My goal is to stay here, work hard and play well,” he told the Press.

“I want to make Fife my home for the whole season and I want to see what we can do as a team, because we’ve had a really good start.

“We’ve had a couple of low points, but we have a lot of potential in the room, and I think we can do some really good things this year.

“I would love to be here the whole season, there’s no other plan B right now, and hopefully everything works out.”

A prolific points scorer across his previous clubs, Just also brings title-winning experience to Fife, having claimed a championship in the German third tier with Tilburg Trappers in 2015-16.

Reflecting on his movements last season, Just explained: “That wasn’t by design, it was just bad luck.

“I had a bad situation in Italy, which threw me into a try-out situation in Germany, which didn’t go well.

“I ended up in Finland, and absolutely loved it. We had a really young team but we made the play-offs.

“It was a frustrating year, but the way it ended felt like the cherry on top.

“I finally found the place I belonged.”

With Fife off to a positive start in league and cup, and two goals and three assists to his name so far, Just is happy with the way things are going .

“The team is doing well, I’ve done pretty well individually as well, so it’s been a good start all round,” he said.

“I didn’t really have a lot of expectation coming in, I just wanted to grasp my setting first, but I feel I can help the team in multiple ways with my offensive abilities and hard-working game.

“I feel like I fit in with the character of the team.

“We’re not going to go out and win six or seven nothing, so we’re going to have to play well for 60 minutes and do all of the little things well - and that represents my style of game.”

After spending the past four years on the continent, Just felt the time was right to try his hand in the EIHL.

“I felt it was a good move to make to get to a higher league and develop my career,” he said.

“I’ve played in a couple of lower leagues in Europe, but I wanted to come here and challenge myself.

“This my fifth year pro and I’m at the point where I don’t want to be on a team where I’m relied on as the one or two imports every night, and there’s all this pressure.

“I wanted to come to a team where there are guys I can learn from, and I can challenge myself and take my game to the next level.

“In terms of building myself as a professional hockey player, it was a really good step up for me, and the quality of hockey is really good.

“I would say this is the strongest league I’ve played in.”