Below you can find a collection of National Team Pool A Rosters for the upcoming 2016 European Lacrosse Championships! Not all the countries have made their rosters public, but many have, so here’s the roster info you absolutely need to know, as well as links to full rosters, where available.
Below the team-by-team Pool A analysis, you can find my group preview, and my pick for the Top 2 finishers in Pool A. The top 2 qualify for the quarterfinals, so this is a big deal! Pool B, then Pool C, then Pool D, because I like to present the alphabet in order.
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England looks to defend their 2012 title in 2016, and they’re bringing in a strong squad to get the job done. As the top ranked European team currently, they are the favorites to win. Coote and Baxter provide some stability in net but both 20 year olds are untested as national team starters. Andrew Baxter brings two world championships on defense worth of experience to the poles. Tommy Kirkland played in 2014 for England and Bill Fisher was with the team but did not play. Some younger guys are seeing time for England on D.
Sam Patterson at LSM brings a lot of experience, and it will be great to have such an accomplished player in the defensive midfeld. Sam Russell and Mike Armstrong will lead the offensive middies with plenty of “Blue Division” experience. Nick Watson and Josh Roden bring experience to the attack unit. It’s a formidable squad for England and while I could go on and on about it, Tom Roche has already done that on the English website, so give his preview a read as well!
Sadly, I can’t seem to find an up to date German roster anywhere, however, Fabian hooked me up with a 2015 roster, and informs me only a couple of changes have been made. So for now, here is the non-official German roster for 2016.
Judging by the 2015 roster, Germany could be bringing a very experienced and strong squad to Budapest. They have plenty of first time internationals, but a number of their players in important positions (Goalie, face off, attack) have world championships level experience. This will help the Germans greatly if they want to contend for a high placement.
Czech Republic Roster
There is no Czech roster either, but here’s the rub with the Czech team – it all depends on who they bring. Sometimes they bring a younger team, sometimes they bring a lot of box lacrosse guys. The end results often depend on who can show up. Since Hungary is close, I like the Czechs to bring a solid team, capable of scoring plenty of goals. They could be better than they were in Denver, which could scare Germany a little. Of course, again, that all depends on who shows up to play.
Neither of the Italian goalies have any national team experience, but Tom Wilmot and Jacopo Colombo both have plenty of experience for Italy on the longstick side and Wilmot can certainly score the ball. Federico Galperti has scored 22 goals in 27 games for Italy and Lorenzo Balzarini brings added experience at the World Championships level. It’s good that these guys have some experience, because the Italian attack is lacking in national team experience. Italy will need to score lots of goals to compete with some of the other squads, so someone is going to need to emerge quickly.
I haven’t seen a Latvian roster, but I can tell you something about Latvia – they will be good! They won the 2016 Berlin Open, and have been getting after it with the EC16 in mind. Latvia lacrosse is on the rise, and they are a team to watch, especially in this Pool. They are big, play strong fundamental lacrosse, and approach the game in a punishing way, never shying away from contact. As Latvia’s skill catches up with their aggression, they simply get better and better. Latvia is an upstart team to watch for sure.
Hungary is really brand new. This is the first time this full team will play together, and it will be an uphill battle, but they will benefit from playing on home soil, and this is going to be an amazing experience for the national program. Hopefully it promotes the sport nicely in Hungary. The future is bright!
You can also see Hungary’s full roster HERE.
Pool A Preview
According to the World Rankings from 2014, the teams should finish like this (final 2014 ranking in parentheses):
1 – England (5th overall), 2 – Germany (9th overall), 3 – Czech Republic (14th overall), 4 – Italy (18th overall, 5 – Lativa (19th overall), 6 – Hungary (Did not play in 2014)
England is the heavy favorite here, and should take the #1 spot in Pool A. In my opinion, the second spot is totally wide open. Germany may be the “top” team outside of England coming in, but I’ll level with you, Latvia gives me some pause. I think the Czechs could be good, but the Latvians really stand out as a team ready to make another jump in the Euro ranks. I’m taking England and Latvia here, but I don’t feel great about it. Making audacious predicitions in Pool Preview #1. OK!