In 2016, England edged Israel in the European Lacrosse Championship, the ninth time the country earned a continental coronation. Two years later, the English feel like a new program, and for the better.
England announced its 23-man roster for the 2018 World Lacrosse Championships in December, and with it a group the program feels can build on what it accomplished in Budapest in 2016.
(For a list of other national team rosters, click HERE.)
Team England carefully records everything it does, in scrimmages, exhibitions and practices. Everything from GPS trackers to video footage are used, then the numbers are dissected to determine strengths, weaknesses and what must improve. Midfielder Zac Guy said the results are promising,
“We strive to hit world class performance indicators that we’ve set for ourselves,” Guy said. “With us measuring everything and seeing our progress from before the European Championships, you get excited playing with each other and seeing how far we’ve come together.”
Guy said the numbers help management and players stay on the same page, which builds an important chemistry throughout the program. Head coach Tom Wenham said he and his staff kept close to mind how well player would play with each other when selecting the roster.
“We’ve very much gone in with what we felt was the best team of 23,” Wenham explained. “Now obviously, by and large that’s made up of the best players, but we really like the chemistry of it, the dynamics of it.”
Wenham said adaptability was also on the program’s mind during team selection, and Guy is a perfect example, moving from attack to the midfield for the championships. The transition is one he’s used to, making it multiple times throughout his lacrosse career, but a sign of England’s roster design.
“I like the mobility of it,” Wenham said. “It gives us the ability to play fast but also the ability and nous to hopefully manage tempo within games, which is frequently necessary at major championships.”
Wenham said his team has a handful of other players who can also play multiple positions, which played a significant role in the roster’s construction.
“We’ve got players who we feel can adapt to various situations,” Wenham said. “A lot of our training is about that. It’s very much about problem solving, about the players making decisions on the field. We’ve tried to select players who make good decisions, who fit that model and who can think about the game strategically and at a more individual level.”
England Lacrosse Roster 2018
- Ryan Hunns – Heaton Mersey
- Alex Russell – Poynton
- Nick Watson – Cheadle
- James Yanes – Hofstra
- Tom Bracegirdle – Timperley
- Cason Liles – Sewanee
- Tom Brook – Poynton
- Sam Patterson – Stockport
- Tim Collins – Mount Olive
- Zac Guy – Heaton Mersey
- Will Hardy – Poynton
- Pete Hayes – Heaton Mersey
- Sam Russell – Poynton
- Christian Scarpello – Rutgers
- Ryan Sweetman – Brooklands
- Josh Sherry-Brennan – Stockport
- Andrew Baxter – Stockport
- Alistair Berven – Oxford University
- Josh Hurry – Heaton Mersey
- Tommy Kirkland – Timperley
- Dan Smith – Cheadle
- Will Baxter – Poynton
- Hal Dwobeng – Brooklands