Head Coach Tom Wenham has announced details about the upcoming Team England tour to compete against NCAA Division 1 team Marquette University in Prato, Italy next month. England will play three exhibition games as part of preparations for the upcoming 2016 ELF European Lacrosse Championship which will take place in Budapest this July.
Facing Marquette will be a tough test for the reigning European champions, the university made it to the NCAA tournament only to be knocked out in the first round on Saturday to North Carolina. Marquette’s performance this season has been one of the key talking points in Division 1 lacrosse. The university claimed a famous victory beating last seasons NCAA D1 champions Denver earlier in the month and finish the season ranked 19th in the nation.
Team England will travel to Prato on Friday 17th June and will play three games at the Prato Grizzlies Lacrosse Club. Wenham commented on the importance of playing such high level opposition. “One of the biggest challenges for the England team is finding suitable opposition for competitive matches outside of the major Championships. Anyone who follows NCAA lacrosse will know just how strong Marquette will be and we’re really excited about the opportunity to test ourselves against them. With three games in three days, and considerable travelling to get to Pisa, we have a great opportunity to replicate the challenges we’ll find in Hungary.”
He went on to comment on the importance of these games to test his players ahead of this summers European Championships. “The key for the coaching staff in these games is to see us implement everything we’ve been working on for the last few months. We’ve made a number of changes, especially at the offensive end, and it will be great to test ourselves against such strong opposition. I’m keen to see how we react physically and mentally to the games and how we can maintain a level of performance across the three games.”
When asked how these games fit within the overall preparations to defend the European title this summer Wenham commented. “By this stage we should have a real clear idea of where we’re up to in our preparation so the tour is a chance to get different units running together and to give everyone a really clear idea of their specific roles and responsibilities. We’ve been using GPS units with the players recently and this tour will give us a great opportunity to measure the physical load we’re placing on the players and on the team as a whole.”
Team England will also be holding an training camp at Hillcroft Lacrosse Club May Bank Holiday weekend (May 28th-29th). The Sunday session will be open to coaches to attend and there will also be a U18 and +18 skills clinic which will be run by Team England coaches and players. To find out more about and book online please click HERE.
Team England vs. Marquette University Schedule
Friday 17th June @ 6.30pm
Saturday 18th June @ 4.00pm
Sunday 19th June @ 9.30am
To keep updated with the tour please follow Team England men’s team on the following social media pages.