How a plea from Pacha sent Kelsall flying

(PHOTO: Derek Black)

Dundee Stars forward Jordan Kelsall says he’d never been so tired after a whirlwind 24 hours last weekend.

On Saturday, he did his bit in helping the Great Britain’s Men’s Under 20’s win a bronze medal in Tallinn before returning to Dundee on Sunday to play in Stars’ win over Guildford Flames.

And he revealed when his club team-mates picked up injuries, a plea from head coach Omar Pacha saw him head back sooner than his international colleagues to answer the Stars’ SOS.

“After the game with Guildford finished, I don’t think I’d ever been as tired in my life. That was my eighth game in 11 days,” he laughed.

“With the injuries Dundee had picked up, I was asked if there was any way I could get back a little sooner in time for the game against Guildford.

“I left the hotel in Tallinn at 5am, 3am UK time and flew at 7am (5am in the UK) to Stockholm.  Got there for 6am UK time and had a five-hour stopover before getting a flight to Edinburgh.

“I landed at 2pm, got to Dundee at 3pm for a 5pm face off and was thrown into it.  I didn’t get the chance to get home before I got the rink and actually felt pretty good surprisingly.

“The original journey was meant to be a three-hour ferry to Helsinki, then from there to London with another flight to Edinburgh.  If I’d done that, I wouldn’t have got in until 11pm.

Kelsall had no sooner helped GB’s Men’s Under 20’s to a bronze medal when he was quickly back in Dundee for Sunday (PHOTO: Hendrick Soots)

“But I had watched the Stars game against Nottingham Panthers on Friday and when the third player left the game injured, I spoke to ‘Pach’ and he asked if there was a chance I could come back sooner.

“I looked into it on the Saturday night while the rest of the UK boys had a little get together to mark the end of the tournament. My bags were packed and ready to come home.

“The fact we got the win over Guildford in the end made it all the more worthwhile and that was the main thing to keep our good run going.”

While the 19-year-old enjoyed some down time after his spell in Estonia with Slava Koulikov’s side and his quick return to action for the Stars, he says he’s ready to go again.

And he’s got Manchester Storm in his sights when Ryan Finnerty brings his team to Tayside this Saturday, with both sides enjoying a run of decent form.

Kelsall added: “Every game is a big game when you look at the standings and we’re confident right now with the form we’ve been on recently.

“We can’t take our foot off the gas and keep doing the things that have kept us successful.

“We saw it at the start of the season that if we stick to the systems and shut the other teams down in the neutral zone, we do well and the guys have worked hard to get the results they have recently.

“I’m ready for the next games now and while I’ve enjoyed my rest since I got back from Tallinn, I’m keen to get going again, starting with the Manchester game on Saturday.”

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