Former Dundee Stars forward, Brett Switzer was a part of the Stars organisation for two seasons but now he has looked back on his time in Dundee, three years after he departed.

By Kris Smith

Switzer joined the Stars in 2015 and would play a key role for the team over the next two years, along with his linemates; Justin Faryna and Mikael Lidhammar.

After leaving in 2017, Brett started off by explaining what he has been doing since he left Scotland.

He began: “I went to France and played in Nice for a year, that was okay but it was quite a bit different from what I was used to in Dundee.

“I did not really enjoy it half as much, my wife Corie (at the time we were first dating) came with me and we got to travel a little bit more but the hockey side of it just was not nearly as fun.

“That was the first time we thought we were going to retire and just settle back in Canada but I got a call to play for a team in Budapest.

“So, we jumped at the chance to go and live in Budapest for a year and it turned out to be awesome and we loved it.

“The team did well, we won a championship that year and then I decided to sign again, extending the career one more year and that was last season.

“We also got a taste of Continental Cup and we played against one of the UK teams, Nottingham (Panthers) and that was kind of fun to do, play against a team I used to play against and to get the win was exciting.

“So, it has been exciting, one year in France and then two years in the Hungarian league with summers back in Canada but now I am retired from hockey and trying to find a job, which in the midst of COVID-19, its proving a little bit difficult but we are loving being back home now.”

 

 

The centerman from Calgary, Alberta then also shared some of his memories from his time in Dundee.

Brett said: “I have quite a few, obviously the first one was in the second year when we made the Final Four Weekend.

“That was just a wild ride right from the start, I think we had some injuries and we had a good team but we just could not stay healthy.

“Then when the playoffs rolled around and we got matched up with Braehead, it just seemed like a really good match up and we played some of the best hockey we have played all year.

“Also, to be kind of underdogs going into that Finals weekend and then to go 2-0 up against Cardiff, that was certainly something and we came so close to making that final game.

“That is something that pops straight into my head whenever I think about my time in Dundee.

“Then it has to be the guys mostly, I still talk to some of my old roommates; Hartsy (Kevin Hart), (Mikael) Lidhammar – I actually played against him during my first year in the Hungarian league.

“Also, (Craig) Cescon, I still talk to him and I have played against him as well and Justin (Faryna) does not live too far away from me here in Calgary, so we have gone over to his house a couple of times to catch up.

“All the relationships you make with your teammates are just something that never goes away, we could run in to someone who we played with 10 years ago and catch up like no time has passed, things like that are what I hold most about my time in Dundee.”

 

 

However, the Canadian then selected his favourite moment in a Stars jersey and he was able to think of two that mean a lot to him.

“I think I have two favourite moments in a Stars jersey”, said Switzer.

He continued: “One would be my first goal against Fife.

”It was either a big game or I scored a late goal to win against Fife, in one of the first games against them.

“With it being such a big rivalry, it was pretty exciting and being a first year pro player as well but when I scored the second goal against Cardiff in the playoffs to go up 2-0, it was really exciting.

“Although, typically, it was not me scoring the goals, it was Justin or Vinny (Scarsella) but again, I loved that one, it is a big moment for me.”

 

 

The 30-year-old then shared more about what brought him to Tayside in the summer of 2015.

He explained: “It was kind of an interesting situation with how everything worked out.

“I first signed with Hull and with Omar Pacha but then everything just kind of folded from there, the team did not work out and then I had nowhere to go.

“Then Marc reached out and sold me on Dundee and offered me a chance to play, so I was just excited to have somewhere to play and when I actually got to Dundee, it was the perfect situation.

“The fans were fantastic, the guys were really good to me and Marc made me feel really comfortable and when Marc came up to me near the end of that year and asked if I wanted to come back, it was a no brainer.

“It was something I was really interest in and I cannot remember who signed before me, if it was Hammar (Lidhammar) or Hartsy, but it was someone I spent a lot of time with that year, either a line mate or a roommate but knowing I had someone I was comfortable with there next year really helped to solidified it.

“But like I said, it was something I wanted to do because Dundee is somewhere where I felt at home and it did not seem like a hard decision for me.

“I just loved my time in Dundee.”

 

 

Brett then mentioned one of the weird and funny moments he remembers from one game with the Stars.

He said: “We had one game where a fan came in and tried to give us some grief because we were not playing that well and he came into the locker room and started yelling at us to get going and start playing better for the fans.

“Everyone in the room just kind of looked at each other, like “who’s this guy?”, we were not sure if he was some investor or something but everyone just sat there and listened.

“However, funnily enough, I think we did start playing a bit better in the last period, I cannot remember if we ended up winning but we were all kind of joking afterwards about who they were.

“But we had a lot of fun as team and those road trips can be long, but that is one of the tougher things, it is keeping yourself occupied on the bus for so long.

“Although, with that team it was always easy to find something to do and have lots of laughs, it was really fun.”

 

 

Finally, Switzer shared a message for all the Stars fans back in Dundee and he said: “You guys were awesome!

“The amount of support and personal connections you made with the players went a long way and I still speak to some of the fans through social media.

“You guys were all just so fantastic and the support we had as a smaller club was amazing and how you guys travelled for games, it really was something special.

“As I went further on into my career and I played in other places, you guys were some of the best fans I ever got the chance to play in front of.

“You treated me and my teammates really well, you guys are just fantastic!”

That concludes our series of ‘Look Back’ articles on the 16th Dundee Stars season but there is plenty more still to come, as next week we take you back to the 2017-2018 season.

If you want to be a part of the historic 20th Dundee Stars season then you can buy your season tickets by contacting [email protected]

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Dundee Stars Team
48 Games
18 Wins
27 Losses
3 OT Losses
39 Points