The England Under 17 Boys Academy recently completed a successful tour out to Baltimore to aid the development of our next crop of budding talent.
The 15 and 16-year-olds headed stateside under the guidance of recently appointed England Under 19 Boys Head Coach, Ryan Garnsworthy, National Talent Coordinator, Martin Cragg, and coaches Vince Cara & Simon Rowlinson.
The boys’ opening game proved a baptism of fire for the side against a big Gonzo Lacrosse side, including players a couple years senior to some of the England boys.
This was reflected in a 3-26 score line, however the boys continued to show resilience throughout the opening game and provided a starting point for the squad playing in their first full game together with much improvement to come later in the tour.
On the days following, the squad took on Mount St Joseph’s, improving from the opening match and proving very competitive before going down 5-17 before a match-up against Spalding under the lights finished 6-17.
The boys impressed the longer the tour went on and in the game against Spalding, the work rate and press in defence and increasing fluidity in attack, demonstrated the squad beginning to come together as a unit ahead of their final match.
In addition to the games, on the team ‘rest days’ the squad were kept busy with training sessions and workouts to build on the progress shown throughout the matches.
A particular highlight was the team training session at Tierney Field, the impressive new home of US Lacrosse where the boys got the full experience, working on their game using international level facilities, practicing on the main field.
Other activities also included a visit to the STX showroom to check out the latest developments in equipment and a visit to the United States Naval Academy, home of NCAA D1 side Navy, where the squad were given a tour by Chesapeake Bayhawks Face-Off, Brady Dove.
Going in to the final game, the team were determined to finish the tour on a high and put in to practice all the learning from the trip.
The match up against South River High was all about the two attacks with the England offense really finding their top game, executing plans and finishing their opportunities well to record a 22-15 victory to close out the tour.
Watch footage from the 22-15 win against South River High HERE
A large number of this U17 Academy will form the crop of players selected for England U19s at the 2020 FIL Under 19 World Championships in Limerick, Ireland and the impressive progress shown in a short space of time should provide Coach Garnsworthy with a lot of positives going forward.
Thanks to all the players and coaches for their efforts on tour and everyone who supported the team along the way.
Game 1 v Gonzo 3-26
Game 2 v Mount St Joseph 5-17
Game 3 v Spalding 6-17
Game 4 v South River High 22-15
Josh Poke – Mellor – Player of the Tour
Dan Jones – Mellor – Golden Stick/Top Scorer
James Craft – Wilmslow – Most Improved
Will Shirt – Cheadle – Effort & Commitment
Matthew Gilmore – Mellor – Team Spirit