SNL preview: Kestrels building “something special”

Kirkcaldy captain Allan Anderson thinks the Kestrels have built some solid foundations after going through a season of transition.

The Kestrels won the SNL in 2015/16, but their much-changed roster was unable to mount a serious defence of their title during the current campaign.

They travel to Dundee Comets for their final match of the regular season in fourth position and Anderson believes the club is well-placed to kick on next term.

“We’ve had a tough season with the loss of several experienced players due to retirement and the worst injury crisis we’ve ever known at the Kestrels,” said Anderson.

“In turn we’ve struggled against some of the bigger teams – in saying that we feel we’ve certainly competed in these games, but just fell short.

“Davie Smith and Steven Wishart are building something special here with the young guys coming through.

“Our average is 19 and with plenty more talent at the club still not 16 and eligible yet the future is bright.

“If we manage to keep the squad intact going forward, which will be tough as there are always clubs interested in our Scottish and Great Britain prospects, then we’re definitely going to take a bit of beating in the next couple of years.

“This weekend we face the Comets in a game that both sides will be looking to win, especially with the play-offs just around the corner.

“We’ve certainly got the firepower and the talent to come away with both points and with our defensive game improving all the time we’ll go there full of confidence.

Paisley Pirates’ boss Ian Turley is refusing to take anything for granted ahead of Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final second leg against Kilmarnock Storm.

The newly-crowned league champions go into the game with an 11-2 lead after last weekend’s first leg, but Turley insists his team’s approach to the fixture will not change.

“I accept there will be those who believe the job is already done and that we’re in the final towards the end of April, but I’m not one of them,” he said.

“Storm have a lot of guys who played for us at Braehead in previous seasons, so they’ll welcome coming back to the wide open spaces here and will need to be watched very carefully.

“I know this might be seen as an over cautious approach by some, but we need to be certain that we continue to employ the same practices as we’ve done so far.

“We’re playing for a cup final place, and when we play the way we can and show the right attitude I never have any doubts about our ability to win games.

“It’s all about maintaining good habits and setting out to win every single game we play. It’s irrelevant what competition we play in, our only objective is to win and take one game at a time – if we continue to do that then everything else takes care of itself.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Sunday

Dundee Comets v Kirkcaldy Kestrels
Paisley Pirates v Kilmarnock Storm (Cup)

(Image permission: Gordon Venters)

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