Below you can find a collection of National Team Pool B 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 analysis, you can find my group preview, and my pick for the Top 2 finishers in Pool B. The top 2 qualify for the quarterfinals, so this is a big deal!
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The Irish arrive on the 23rd to train, and play 5 days later. They will be backstopped by Kevin Quinn in goal, and have a tough group of 7 poles in front of him, with plenty of options at LSM. The Irish bring in 10 middies, and it’s a talented and diverse group with plenty of field and box experience. John O’Connor has played 41 games for Ireland now indoors and outdoors, and the 28 year old exemplifies the leadership Ireland will need from its middies to see success in Budapest. Aaron Cahill adds experience and face off ability, but younger less experienced guys will also need to step up. The Irish attack is loaded with four guys with plenty of international experience in Sean Gibson, Drew Wichmann, Cillian Murphy and Dan Kelly. Each has played in at least one world championship for Ireland (indoor or outdoor or both).
You can learn more about the Irish players, HERE. Ireland Lacrosse has done a great job with their web presence! Impressive stuff, worth checking out.
Brian Silcott is bringing an athletic and tough group from Scotland, and while some of the “big” Canadian box lacrosse names from their Denver 2014 roster are missing, there is still plenty of talent, and Scotland is coming to win games. Andrew Farrington, Kevin Archer, and Martyn Crawford are the only 3 dedicated attackmen, but a number of Scotland’s middies could see time there as well. The biggest question mark is how well these guys will play together, and not just as individuals. Etan Harris and Stuart Dallas will mind the nets, and they have an imposing and pretty experienced defense in front of them. Scotland has legs. Expect them to run! If some of the Canadian guys do end up somehow playing, watch out even more.
You can find the entire Scotland roster HERE.
The Welsh bring a mixture of experience and youth to Budapest, and should be very competitive throughout the tournament. Adam Wood makes his national team return after 18 months off with an injury. He has played with the national team since 2009. Andrew Gresham played for Wales in the U19 games in 2012, Andrew Hopkins played in 2010 and 2014, and David Howie has been a national team stalwart for 7 years. For every guy like that, there is a player making their debut at the national senior level. Can the newer guys pick up the pace right away? If so, Wales is in a good spot.
You can find the entire Wales Lacrosse roster HERE.
I have yet to see a Norwegian roster, so if you’ve seen one, please send it my way via the comments section below! My guess is that Norway will be big, athletic, but slightly less experienced than some of the other teams in this group.
Scratch all that. James Neal Robertson told me to look harder on Facebook (which I don’t have) and I found the Norway roster. HERE it is! Kind of a cool way to do it honestly!
The Norwegian team is older than most of the other squads at the EC16 event on average. Their youngest player is 23, whereas many other countries bring 20 year olds and younger. This should help with attitude and athleticism greatly. The oldest players are in their early 30s, so the range of ages is quite tight and this could help create a good team atmosphere. There is some good holdover talent from Denver, as well as some newer national team faces, but Norway should be competitive throughout.
Like Norway, I haven’t seen an Austrian roster, although I can guess as to some of the selections. If my guesses hold up, this will be a good Pool B team, capable of playing with anyone in their group on a good day.
I’d talk more about Denmark, but why should I do it when you can read all about it on LaxAllStars.com?
James Neal Robertson, the Danish goalie, has been detailing his national team’s re-emergence on the European scene all year on LAS, and it’s well worth reading… ALL of it! I will say that Denmark has a slightly smaller team, not in height, but in numbers. They are only bringing 19 players to Budapest!
You can also see Denmark’s full roster HERE. On the same Twitter page they are running through all their players, with photos! Another nod to a well done web presence!
Pool B Preview
According to the World Rankings from 2014, the Pool B teams should finish like this (final 2014 ranking in parentheses):
1 – Scotland (6th overall), 2 – Ireland (10th overall), 3 – Wales (17th overall), 4 – Norway (25th overall, 5 – Austria (28th overall), 6 – Denmark (Did not play in 2014)
Now, will this happen? My guess is MAYBE. Ireland has a strong squad, and Wales is quite capable. Depending on who Norway brings, they could challenge. So Scotland finishing in first is anything but a guaranteed position. Could they even fall to third? It’s possible! Wales has bested Scotland before, and with any other slip ups, the Scots could conceivably finish in third place, outside of the all-important Top 2, which go on to the quarterfinals.
If I had to guess, I’d say Ireland and Scotland take the top two spots, with Wales pressing for third, but that’s only a guess, at best. Given all the talent on the top 3 squads, and the the competitiveness of the bottom 3, Pool B should be one of the most exciting Pools around!