SOLWAY SHARKS player-coach Jamie Kerr has revealed personal time constraints and falling out of love with the game is why he brought his retirement forward.
The 32-year-old finished up last month as Sharks SNL boss amidst a very busy season, which will culminate at the birth of his second child.
And as he counts himself out of Saturday’s trip to Aberdeen Lynx, Kerr gave his reasons why he’s decided to hang up his skates.
He said: “My wife and I are due our second child in the next few weeks so naturally, that was always going to take priority.
“I had hoped to play out the remainder of the season and possibly finish up in the summer however other factors have seen me call time a month or so early.
“Since around November, for the first time in 16 years of playing senior hockey, my love and enjoyment of playing and coaching at this level started to deteriorate.
“It got to the point in January and February that I had totally fallen out of love with the game and was not enjoying things.
“With studying full-time along side my full-time day job, university deadlines coming thick and fast along with other coaching commitments, I decided to do what felt right.
“I looked at the Sharks SNL run-in and saw clashes with uni deadlines and under 16s fixtures and decided to make the smart decision for me.
“This weekend was always going to see me miss my first game in years as I was simply not willing to risk travelling to Aberdeen so close to due date but my decision nullified that.”
Solway have suffered a difficult season this year and has seen the club miss out on the SNL play-offs, following a slump in form that has seen them lose six consecutive games.
Kerr gave an insight into where Sharks problems have lay this season as they tumbled into the bottom two places.
He added: “The league position as it stands today is no doubt disappointing. We’re far better than it suggests and we’ve gone from pushing for a top half finish to where we are now.
“We have found ourselves over the last few months scraping match squads together in terms of personnel and as a result, our quality dropped.
“With our junior programme producing such high quality, these talented young guys are using the SNL platform for a shorter time before stepping up to the more advanced NIHL league.
“This has seen us lose some key guys including our captain since the turn of the year as well as a few experienced guys too due to personal reasons and this has caused us headaches.
“With guys working shifts and the odd injury and suspension, a match day squad of even twelve skaters was a luxury at times.
“Sometimes in order to fill a bench, guys whom have not played senior hockey before have had to be registered.
And Kerr also revealed if returning as a player or a coach in the SNL was an option in the future.
He said: “I can’t see myself not coaching any time soon. I will continue with my under 16s and ladies teams for the foreseeable future though.
“At SNL level, I’d never say never I’m only 32 and just getting myself fitter than I have been in a long time, however if I never play again, I wouldn’t rule out taking the bench in the future.
“In the coming times though, it would need to take some major commitment and buy-in to see Solway SNL regain the level of competitiveness from a few months ago.
“We shall see what the summer brings, apart from some well needed sun and retraining myself in nappy changing.”