Sponsors, Stephensons catering equipment suppliers, catch up with Sam Russell, Captain of the England Lacrosse team, ahead of the Lacrosse World Cup.
The England Lacrosse team arrived in Denver late last week with a forceful game plan having trained hard to clash with the world’s best. The Lacrosse World Cup opens on Thursday July 10, 2014, with England’s opening game against the Iroquois on Friday July 11, 2014.
“We are going to be an exciting team to watch and will score a few more goals than England teams in the past,” said mid-fielder Sam Russell.
“We will be aggressive in defence and push the ball in transition whereas in the past we’ve tended to slow the ball down, have a lot of possessions, pack it in on D and let other teams play.
“But we want to show more of what we can do. We have some real skill and this is the most talented side I’ve been involved with so, without putting too much pressure on ourselves, we want to play with flair, score some really nice goals and do the country proud.”
“We are very well prepared and the coaches have done a brilliant job with the structure, skills and teamwork. We all know our roles and have been playing together for a while now – 16 of the 23 played at the Euros so we have a great team feel rather than being a collection of individuals mashed together.”
Lacrosse is a growing sport in the UK, likely as a result of University sports clubs and is sprawling out across the country.
“Predominantly all but a couple of the England team are based around the Manchester area but there is also a Lacrosse hub down south in London. With the growth of the University game Lacrosse is starting to spread out which is nice to see.”
Sam started playing POP Lacrosse, a non-contact version with plastic headed sticks and oversized Lacrosse balls, at the age of 12 whilst still at primary school.
“Five of us from primary school took it on and it was great to progress together – four of us made the England Under 19s and the fifth made the Wales Under 19s, I’ve been coming down here to Poynton ever since.”
In his first World Cup appearance, Sam was privileged with the position as Captain for the Under 19 team in Vancouver, 2008. 2010 saw his first senior appearance for the Manchester World Games and later in 2012 Sam took part in the European Championships in Amsterdam, Holland.
The Lacrosse World Cup takes place every four years and is spliced with the European Champions which also take place every four years, giving the England team a large tournament every two years.