Nico Sacchetti has revealed that he turned down offers from other clubs in the Elite League to sign for Fife Flyers due to his affinity for the east coast of Scotland.
The 26-year-old former Dundee Stars forward joined the Kirkcaldy side last week after spending the first half of the season in his home state of Virginia, USA recovering from injury.
And Sacchetti explained that his previous experience of playing in Scotland, albeit on the other side of the River Tay, swayed his decision to choose Fife ahead of clubs from other parts of the UK.
“I’ve been talking to Danny and Todd for a while, and it’s finally worked out,” he said.
“I’m happy with it, I know the area a little bit from being in Dundee, and that’s why I wanted to come back to Scotland versus some other places in the league.
“The people here are really welcoming, really friendly, and make it an easy transition. I had a good time in Dundee so was a no-brainer to come back to Scotland.”
Sacchetti made his Flyers debut against Edinburgh Capitals on Sunday, grabbing two assists to help the team to a 3-0 victory in his first game in 10 months.
“I don’t think I’ve been in a real game since March so it was more fun than anything just to get back out in a competitive game,” he explained. “To get the win was just the icing on the cake.
“I got injured at the end of the summer and had to have some surgery.
“I just tried to get as healthy as possible back home with what I had to skate there.
“As soon as I felt comfortable enough skating, I had my agent fishing around and some teams were interested in the UK.
“It ended up working out coming to Fife and I’m really happy.
“Everyone’s been good and really welcoming but it’s not easy to be the guy who shows up half way through the season. I’ve missed out on a lot of the team bonding that’s been happening.
“I just have to jump in and find my role, find my spot, and do as much as I can to help the team be successful.”
Sacchetti was pleased to play his part in the debut win, but insisted that there will be more to come from him as he regains his match fitness.
“I was happy with the outcome, and with how I played for the most part, but I’m obviously not 100 per cent where I want to be,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter how much I’ve skated back home, it’s a whole other level of conditioning to be in game-shape.
“All I’m trying to focus on is to get back there. I was happy with it - glad we won - but I can be better.”
Sacchetti racked up 77 points in the 2013-14 campaign with Dundee, helping the Taysiders win the conference, and Flyers will hope he can play a similar role for them in the second half of the season.
“I’m just trying to fit in and find my role within the team, and if that’s what they need me to do, then I’ll work as hard as I can to do that, and produce every night,” he said.
“As a forward I want to score as many goals as possible. I’ve done well in this league before so I’ve just got to carry that confidence with me and try to keep it going.
“It was good to get the first points out of the way - but I want that goal.
“It will come. I was happy with our line - we had a tonne of chances but their goalie played well.”