WHEN Carlo Finucci takes to the ice on Tuesday for his new club, there will be a part of him sad that it won’t be for Fife Flyers, his team for the last four years.

The forward left Kirkcaldy during the summer amidst the uncertainty and eventual suspension of the Elite Ice Hockey League, having made the decision early as Covid-19 started to make life difficult for the sport, leading to the decision to cancel what should have been this season.

But as he prepares for a campaign with Romanian side, the ironically named Corona Brasov, Finucci was honest enough to admit it was a move he had to make and while it was a wrench to leave Fife, he couldn't afford to sit idle for a year for the sake of his career at the age of 33.

“It was the only decision I really could make, taking everything into account and the uncertainty around the Elite League in general,” Finucci said.  “I know that things have been suspended in the UK, with no season taking place so it’s turned out to be a good decision for me personally and one I’m glad I made early on.  Any time I spoke to someone at Fife, it never sounded too positive.

“Deciding to go elsewhere was not something I took lightly and it’s given me the chance to play for another year.  I’m 33 now and not getting any younger so taking a year off might have just been the end for me as a player.  This move had to come down to necessity and I’m lucky to get this opportunity. It was something I had to do.”

Finucci was a player the Flyers fans very much took to their hearts.  His speed and ability to come up with some big goals in big moments is something that will endear him to the Kirkcaldy supporters for a long time to come.

His debut for his new team is on Tuesday when Brasov head to Hungarian side DEAC, from Debrecen and it’s the start of a cluster of away games as the Erste Liga, made up of sides from Hungary and Romania, finally gets underway.

“The league is made of seven teams in Hungary and three in Romania and here, there are no crowds allowed at any sporting event, but they are in Hungary so we’re going on a 16-day road trip, playing seven games in that spell,” Finucci explained.

“We’ll get a good chunk of games in and when we return, we don’t play for a month and we’ll have a cluster of home games, but that month will allow the authorities to decide whether we can have fans in to watch the games.  It’s all up in the air just now, but the road games are coming.”

You can tell that while he’s excited about his new adventure, there’s a part of his heart still in Kirkcaldy and for a team where he made approximately 250 appearances.  However, he hasn’t given up the hope of possibly ending his career in Scotland.

“I never thought I would be playing anywhere else, to be honest,” he said. “It would definitely be great to get the chance to finish my career in Fife and you can only look forward to seeing things get back to normal and that rink in Kirkcaldy being full again.

“Right now, I’m enjoying seeing and doing something different and I loved my five years in the UK, including my year with Swindon Wildcats before I moved to the Flyers.  In a way, it’s a chance to experience new things on and off the ice so it’s exciting times for me right now."