Team England have had a busy summer of international action with sides touring all around the world, from Budapest to British Columbia, with a host of successes and plenty of promise for the progression of England Lacrosse.
The senior men’s side travelled to Budapest for the European Championships with the target of retaining the title they held since 2004; however, with the standard of competition stronger than ever before and the emergence of many up-and-coming nations, the boys had to be at their best.
This was proven by the team’s pool stage match against Latvia, who nearly caused an upset, going in to final quarter just a point behind, until England eventually saw the game out.
The boys then strung together an impressive run of victories through the knockout stages until the Gold Medal match saw England defeat a highly-rated Israel 7-6, to be crowned European Champions for a fourth consecutive tournament.
In the women’s game, the senior team laid down a massive statement of intent for the 2017 FIL Rathbones World Cup by completing an away series victory against rivals Australia.
England defeated Australia, the team who pipped them to Bronze in the 2013 World Cup, 2-1 over the three-match series in Melbourne to put themselves in a strong position going into next year’s World Cup.
After winning the first test 13-7, the girls went down in overtime in the second to set up a crucial final test to decide the series. Team England went on to repeat the earlier 13-7 victory to secure the series and complete an historic victory against a major medal rival for 2017.
Under 19 Men
The successes continued at under 19 level with both teams putting in positive performances on respective tours.
The Under 19 men’s side travelled to Canada for the World Championships and came away with a respectable 5th place finish, securing a place in the Blue Division for the next Championships and maintaining their position in the elite group at the top of the Under 19 game.
Under 19 Women
The Under 19 girls continued to make good progress with a 36-strong squad attending The Grind Tournament in Philadelphia.
The tournament and training camp provided all the girls with valuable experience and a greater awareness of the demands of top level lacrosse. The tournament was a difficult challenge but the A team came out as champions, winning the final 13-1.
Jane Powell, Team England Performance Manager, was pleased with the application shown from the squads and is hopeful for the future.
‘After last summer’s successful step forward it is encouraging to see another step forward this year. To have all four squads going away and coming back with a consistent record of success is great.
‘We now have some key performance gains to affect and with the next two years being so important it is crucial we keep the improvements going – success is an attitude I want all our players and management to recognise.’