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WILC 2015 Nation Preview: Australia

WILC 2015 Nation Preview: Australia

Australia has competed internationally in box lacrosse since the 1970s, we can’t wait to see how the years of experience pay off in the WILC 2015!

The World Indoor Lacrosse Championship 2015 takes over the Onondaga Nation next month and in preparation for the historic event we will be taking a deeper look into each of the 13 nations that will be competing for the gold September 18th-27th, 2015!

This nation almost needs no introduction, their rowdy supporters do a great job of letting you know when the ‘Roos are coming! Learn more about the rich history and current status of Australia lacrosse heading in to the WILC 2015!

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WILC 2015 Nation Preview: AustraliaAustralia

Box Lacrosse Founded: 1978
Governing Body: Australian Lacrosse Association
Previous WILC Finish: 6
Twitter: @laxaus
Instagram: @laxaus

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Preparations for the WILC 2015

What are some of your biggest concerns when traveling with Team Australia to the United States and the Onondaga Nation?

Our biggest concern is the logistics of getting everyone together in Toronto on the 8th September before we commence with our lead up games.

We have 3 players who are based in Canada and the USA. Sourcing transport and a training/playing venue has caused some minor issues but with the assistance of the overseas contacts this has now been finalized.

What other obstacles are still in the way of Australia having the ideal trip to the WILC?

As a team we believe we have addressed the most obvious obstacles, we also realize there may be some unforeseen issues, but believe we will be able to deal with these on an as needs basis.

The coaching, management and team are well aware of the quality of the opposition teams and embrace the opportunity to acquit ourselves against the best lacrosse players during the WILC

Australian Lacrosse History

When was lacrosse founded in Australia and by whom?

The pioneer of lacrosse in Victoria (and Australia as a whole) was a Canadian, Lambton L. Mount. He came to the Victorian goldfields as a fourteen-year-old with his family in 1853 but it was not until 1875 that he was moved to revive his early boyhood memories of lacrosse.

After watching the football (soccer) final between Carlton and Melbourne in that year it occurred to him that lacrosse was a superior game. In April 1876 Mount wrote to the Australasian Newspaper to announce that he was arranging to import forty lacrosse sticks from Canada and intended to start lacrosse and establish the Melbourne Lacrosse Club. He succeeded and the first practice match of this club took place on 22 June 1876 between 15-20 players at Albert Park.

The Melbourne club continued to promote the sport and arranged matches between the “Reds” and “Blues” in Albert Park during 1877-78. By 1879, four clubs had been formed with some 120 players. These four clubs Melbourne, Fitzroy, South Melbourne and Carlton formed the Victorian Lacrosse Association in July 1879 for the purpose of coordinating matches. His Excellency, the Governor of Victoria The Most Hon G A C Phipps, was the inaugural Patron.

Wow, what an impressive history! How long has box lacrosse been played in Australia?

Box lacrosse was first played in Australia in 1978 and grew in popularity through to the late 80’s, until the lack of venues and funding saw the game decline and competition cease in the early 90’s.

The game has seen a minor revival since 2002 and is beginning to regain its rightful place within the Australian Lacrosse calendar.

What other events has Australia competed in internationally?

WILC 2015 Nation Preview: Australia VS CANADA 2011 WILC
Head-to-head with Canada at WILC 2011

Australia has competed in many international lacrosse competitions, including FIL Senior Men’s and Women’s events, U19’s Men’s and Women’s events, Friendship Games and the ASPAC games.

In terms of Indoor events Australia has competed in the following:

  • The Nations in 1980
  • WILC 2003 (5th Place)
  • WILC 2007 (6th Place)
  • WILC 2011 (6th Place)

2015 Players and Staff

In general, how would you describe the players on the Australian national team? What are the guys like off the field?

The team is evenly balanced with a blend of youth (first time on Australian Indoor team), experience and a desire to succeed at the highest level.

Off the field they are like all lacrosse players, they like to have fun, socialize (Aussie’s are a friendly bunch), comment about all sports and are a very relaxed group.

Which key individuals from your country should lacrosse enthusiasts look toward as an ambassador of the game? Why?

All of the players on the team are great ambassadors of the game, they all play the game with intensity and integrity.

Out of the box they are the most approachable players you could ever meet, but if I have to identify key individuals I’d be hard pressed to go passed the four listed below. They understand and respect the game, work, dedication and commitment to play at the highest level.

Who are the team’s most experienced players for the WILC?

Offense: A young-gun in the WILC 2011, Caleb Hall is bringing his experience back to the Aussie offense.

Transition: Wade Hammond was the captain of the 2011 and will be the backbone of running both sides of the ball from the floor.

Defense: Keith Nyberg, a three-year captain and two-time All-American at Limestone College, competed with the team at the 2011 games and will serve as a senior leader of the group.

Goalie: This is the first WILC for Victoria based goaltender Trevor Brennan. His years of experience in the Australian Indoor Championship and various leagues will be put to the test in September.

Who is your coaching staff, what is their experience?

WILC 2015 Nation Preview: Australia

Head Coach of the team is Bob Carter. Carter was a player for Australia in The Nations 1980 and has since served as a long-term indoor player and coach for Australia.

Coach Carter will have two assistants on his bench for the event. Assistant Alan Lewer, competed as a member of the 2013 and is currently playing and coaching box lacrosse in Victoria.

Carter’s other assistant, Greg Mollison, competed as a player in the 1978 Commonwealth Games before competing with the 1981 and 1984 Australian Indoor Team and 1985 Australian Touring Team. Greg is also a box lacrosse player and coach in Victoria.

Strength and Conditioning Coach Ian Webb is new to the Indoor game, but his previous experience includes working with the 2012 and 2016 U19 Australian Men’s team and 2013 U23 ASPAC Australian Men’s and Women’s teams.

Adrian Burns, has been a player and official in Australia from 2002 to 2007, the again as an official 2012 on. Burns will serve as the Team Manager for the WILC 2015.

What is the team’s ratio of Australian to North American born players?

We have one US and 3 Canadian born players on the team. The rest of the roster consists of all Australian nationals.

Is there anything else you would like the worldwide lacrosse community to know about Australia or the team?

The biggest hurdle for the Australian indoor team is the lack of training/playing venues in close proximity to the player base. Many times the squad has trained at inline skating facilities which are much smaller than the full size box. The team selection camp in February and subsequent monthly camps have been held in Moe, Victoria, which is a 2:30 hour drive from the Melbourne CBD.

WILC 2015 Nation Preview: Australia

The weekend schedule comprises of the interstate players competing in their club games before catching a Saturday night flight to Melbourne, billeted overnight, early morning drive (6:00) Sunday to Moe, training and game, drive back to Melbourne for a flight home to their respective states.

Australia is a great place to come and play lacrosse, see a beautiful part of the world, get plenty of game time, meet lifelong friends and assist in the development of our great game.

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Thanks to Head Coach and Organizer Bob Carter for taking the time for this interview.

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