Kirkcaldy Kestrels eager to put tough season firmly behind them

Kirkcaldy Kestrels’ head coach Steven Wishart is confident that his younger players will have learned plenty from a difficult 2019/20 campaign for the club.

The Kestrels had a tough time of things in the Scottish National League (SNL) as they struggled recover from the loss of some key players last summer.

However, they ended their regular season fixtures with three successive victories to give Wishart hope that better times lie ahead.

“What can we say about this season – it was educational to say the least,” he said. “Last summer there was a point when we thought there would be no Kestrels team due to a large number of players moving on.

“We had to ask some older guys to come out of retirement in the interim to get a team on the ice and thankfully it was enough to play in the league.

“We’ve still managed to introduce youngsters into the team for development which has been and always will be our main focus at the Kestrels.

“We’ve been really impressed on how the kids have stepped up and having the opportunity to bounce off the older players will be invaluable to them going forward.”

With Solway Sharks and Murrayfield Racers dominating proceedings at the top of the SNL, the Kestrels had a tough job on their hands to repeat their third placed finish from the previous season.

However, Wishart says that while it has been a challenge trying to compete with the top teams, it is one that he has relished.

“It’s been a great learning curve for us as coaches and the youngsters who now know what’s needed to compete at SNL level,” he added.

“With the junior set-up changing from 20s to 18s next season this will allow our core Kestrels numbers to increase and allow some of those older ones to slip back into retirement if they so wish.

“Results this season may not have been as positive as we would have liked, but we already have one eye on next year and we will be looking to bounce back.”

(Image permission: Derek Black)