The off-season can be an anxious time for a competitive curler, especially following the end of the Olympic cycle. This was certainly the case at the end of last season - all four of us were left as curling “free agents” following last season. What usually results is a “shuffle” in teams, as players attempt to find the next winning team.
First I’ll offer a quick recap of the changes in Saskatchewan – Kirk and Dallan were members of Team Laycock, a dominant force in the province over the last number of years. The team decided it was time to part ways following a respectable showing at the Brier last year. This season, Steve will be playing with Jim Cotter out of BC, and Matt Dunstone will be skipping a Regina-based team.
Myself and Dan were left as free agents after our skip last season, Colton Flasch, took an offer to play with Kevin Koe out of Alberta. Team Flasch was defeated by Team Laycock in the Saskatchewan Tankard final last year.
In approaching what I wanted in a new team, it was a no-brainer to discuss playing with the Muyres’ brothers. As the saying goes - If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!
Luckily, the provincial final was not the first experience Dan and I have had with the Muyres brothers. Dallan actually skipped a team in the 09/10 season and Dan played second for him - There is some obscure curling trivia for you! For the most part, we have been competitors on the ice, and friends off the ice, ever since our junior curling days, going back to the early 2000s. I remember first playing Kirk when he was a 13 year old playing in a 20 and under bonspiel – this shows you how committed he has always been to the game!
We have already noticed in off-season training that our team chemistry will be a strength. Every curling team that wants to compete at the highest level needs highly skilled, competitive players. However, to be a truly consistent team, the group has to get along! Sounds simple on paper, but easier said than done.
On team Muyres, each player has a highly competitive drive to win, but also has an excellent attitude with no “me-first” attitudes getting in the way. If we commit to this approach, there is no doubt we will continue to get better and most importantly enjoy the journey!
As we enter the beginning of the new tour season, fans will get their first glimpse at a number of the changes, including our new Saskatoon-based squad!
Cheer loud, we appreciate all the support!