Davie Smith believes Kirkcaldy Kestrels are set for a bright future despite the club’s exit from the Scottish Cup at the weekend.
His players put up a spirited fight in their quarter-final tie against Dundee Tigers, eventually going down 7-6 on aggregate, but the Kestrels’ boss refused to be downbeat.
“I can’t stress enough on how proud I am of these players,” Smith told the club’s official Facebook page after Sunday’s second leg.
“Wish (Steven Wishart) and I have put together a group of young and developing juniors and threw them into a tough SNL league. We lost a lot of experience last season and these kids have stepped up to the plate.
“We knew it was going to be tough and we knew these guys would need time to get used to the pace and to the different style of game played at U20 level, but they have done brilliant and tonight was probably their best game.
“This is a developing team full of young kids and a different team to the team that won league silverware over the last few years. We need to be patient with them, encourage them if we are to develop them to play at a higher level.”
Assistant Coach Wishart added: “We have a team here with an average age of 20 – 19 if you remove Jamie Wilson from the line-up.
“Allan Anderson is our oldest player at 27 and our youngest is Caly Robertson and Scott Jamieson at 16.
“If you look at Elite Prospects SNL site, for such a young team with 14 teenagers in it we are doing brilliant.
“We have Conor (Duncan) and Robin (Floyd) in the top five player stats and Andy Little in the top five goalie stats. We are the lightest on the ice out of all the SNL teams and also the youngest.
“We have set precedence in the fact we ice so many young kids and other teams can’t handle our energy, so they have started to bring in the young ones too.
“Our goal is to keep these kids developing, to get them training with the senior team and to hopefully see them win awards here, then develop enough to see them picked up by NIHL or EIHL teams.
“The future is bright for these kids and we need to encourage that.”
(Image permission: Derek Black)