As the seniors still revel in their recent success at the European Championships it now time for the “Young Lions” to step in to the limelight and prove their worth at this July’s U19 World Championships. We caught up with head coach Richard Gartside and got his thoughts on his team and their chances at upcoming championships in Lhati, Finland. The England young guns depart for Finland this Sunday and will face Iroquois in their opening game on July 13th at Yläkenttä Stadium.
What is your team’s goal in in the U19 2012 World Championships tournament?
To be the most successful team in the county’s history, and to showcase the best of English Lacrosse and to prepare the young players for their future international careers..
What kind of team are you bringing to the championships this year?
We have put together a very balanced team would do everything for each other; they are strong fit and fast. They bring the traditional churchillian sprit of never giving up no matter the odds. The lads are also very determined to medal at these games and do their nation proud.
What sort of lacrosse you want your team to play in tournament?
We want to bring a typically English style of play and play a high-tempo aggressive version of our 13man game.
One thing we can expect to see when your team is in the Finland in July?
To sum up our lads we want them to play with Grit, Determination and a sense of calm but most of all work ethos and for them to come together as a family over the next two weeks; ‘We would not seek a battle as we are, yet as we are, we say we will not shun it.’ William Shakespeare (Henry V)
Could you pick up a few names from your roster that spectators should pay attention to?
Our Squad in based around a team ethos but will be lead by their elected captains Sam Dexter, Josh Hurry and Vince Cara. I also think our attitude can be summed up with another quote from Shakespeare’s Henry V ‘We few, we happy few, we band of brothers’
Which teams are favorite’s, are you expecting any surprises?
USA have never lost a championship since its creation in the 90′s, I think its been obvious over the past few years the influence of Canadian’s in the NCAA and I expect both of them to front runners in this years championship. Yes I hope that we can surprise a few people, we are going to go out and compete to win in every game and we want medal in these championships.
State of junior lacrosse in your country? (How many youth players? Etc.)
The game is one of the fastest growing sports in England and we have competitive leagues at U12, U14, U16 & U18 and more recently at the University level where the game is growing massively.
What is the meaning of this tournament for junior lacrosse in your country?
Its is a measure of the development in the game and the pinnacle of any youth player.
We will be covering the championships here on www.englishlacrosse.co.uk and also on our social media platforms. Make sure you stay tuned for daily updates from the captains, match-reports and game images thorough the championships.