KIRKCALDY KESTRELS coach Davie Smith was unquestionably a happy man after his team clinched their second consecutive SNL title.
But he admits keeping his players focussed on Saturday’s game against Moray Typhoons proved a tricky one.
Now he’s already looking ahead to next season as he looks to blood more youngsters into the team.
He said: “Before the game on Saturday, I had tried to get the guys to be focussed on the game because we’ve got Moray in the play-offs as well.
“It was tricky to keep the guys’ heads on the job and because it has been such a hard season for us. I think there was some thinking about having a drink afterwards.
“Moray are a hard team and have worked hard all season. They’ve got players in the national programme and have taken points from some good teams this season.
“When we’ve gone up there, they’ve given us a game and that was the same on Saturday.
“I feel this is a better achievement because we have such a young team. We lost Tyler Plews and Renny Marr at the start of the season, who are young lads themselves.
“But we had to replace them with even younger lads and it’ll be the same next season, with more 16 and 17 year olds coming in.
“We’re trying to bridge the gap for them coming in so young and if they do make the step up to the Elite League, that it isn’t such a big jump for them.
“For the older ones, getting into the Elite League is almost impossible, but getting the lads in even younger gives them that experience to help them if they do make the step up.”
Smith was also impressed with the improvement of the league this season and believes more and more people are talking about.
And he reckons it’s a lot more competitive than it was just a few short years ago, closing the gap on the Elite League.
He added: “The league overall has been much better this season and there’s more younger players looking to make a career for themselves in the sport.
“Being honest, this league was a pub league just a few years ago, but the standard has improved across all the teams and we saw that with how tight the league race was.
“It’s more competitive now and the boys are talking about other things going on round about as well, which is a very good thing in my opinion.
“We don’t have an EPL in this country and the jump is too big, but the gap is getting closer as the league gets more and more competitive.