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Steve becomes one of Adelaide Adrenaline’s best

After making the transition from roller skates to ice skates, Adelaide Adrenaline forward Steve Best has cemented himself as an integral member on the ice. He went One on One with Tom Staggard to discuss the upcoming AIHL season and how he juggles his work with his hockey.

Tom Staggard: Can you tell me about how you started playing ice hockey?

Steve Best: I was originally an inline hockey player, which is basically the same but on roller skates.

When I was a teenager I made the transition onto the ice.

I had a few mates who were playing both and they convinced me to come out and it has pretty much gone from there.

TS: Is there a major difference between inline and ice? Was that transition easy or did you have a bit to learn?

SB: It’s not too bad.

The biggest difference is that inline is non-contact.

Coming over, the contact aspect was a real big thing for me.

I had to learn how to both hit and take hits.

(Ice hockey) is a lot faster and the gameplay is slightly different but other than that it’s pretty similar so it hasn’t been too hard.

TS: How long did you play inline for before making the switch?

SB: I played inline for about eight or nine years before I came across. I started when I was about seven and moved over when I was about 15.

PHOTO: Adelaide Adrenaline

TS: What kind of player are you and what is your role on this team?

SB: Over the years I have actually played a lot of different roles. This year I think the coach, and the team, need me to really step up and play a bigger role.

I see myself as a playmaker on the first line to set up guys like Ales (Kratoska) and Joey (Rezek) and get them the puck.

When I get a chance, I try to get pucks on net and score some goals as well.

I just try to focus on playing my game and making the guys around me better.

TS: Do you have much of a hockey background? Has anyone in your family previously played?

SB: Not really. My brother was the first one to start playing hockey so I just sort of followed him.

But other than that nobody in my family had really been into the sport.

My grandpa was a footballer and my mum was a gymnast so it was a new sport to the family.

TS: What was their reaction to you wanting to play hockey?

SB: I guess I was so young my parents probably thought I just wanted to try everything and anything.

Kids try every kind of sport and this one sort of stuck.

When I made the transition to ice they were thrilled about it.

I think they actually enjoyed me playing ice hockey more than inline.

TS: How long have you been playing with the Adrenaline?

SB: I’ve been with this team on and off for about six seasons now. I came to the team when I was 17 and I played for about a year and a half.

Then I travelled and played overseas for a bit.

I came back and had about a three or four year break and then I came back and have been here ever since.

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Tom grew up in Adelaide’s northern suburbs and is our resident North American sports expert. Tom has experience as a working journalist and has a keen interest in basketball, ice hockey and American football, as well as cricket, soccer and football. He spent his junior cricket career at East Torrens District and has played for a number of football clubs across Adelaide’s north.