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U19 - Thoughts and comments

Any posts on the Under 19's World Games in here please.

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U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby Moaning Git Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:28 am

WACS10 on another thread has really started this off. Comments were being made during the games about the team performance and alsp about expectation etc, some of these pissed off some of the players as they were seen as being critical and demotivating, so taking that on board I stopped posting until the event was done and dusted, but I think it is ok now to start looking at where we might go from here.

As Scott has pointed out this squad was without overseas players which some saw as a gamble and criticised as weakening the squad. I don't agree. I think it was a brave step, and meant that our squad competed on purely their own merits. We certainly did not lose out in terms of where we finished, and there has to be a pride in knowing that what was achieved was due to our national game.

Before the tour there was talk in some quarters of our finishing 5th or even 6th. The lads did well to beat Australia, a result that had the Aussies bleating, and again achieved with homegrown talent. Finishing 4th is a very creditable achievement and that should not be undervalued.

Realistically can we realistically hope to do better?The North American teams have all the advantages USA especially. They have a massive and growing pool of players to choose from. Lacrosse is replacing baseball as a preferred sport in the midwest, West Coast and South West. Lacrosse camps are attracting thousands of new players, and with them new money, a vital resource that we are struggling to find. The Iroquois do not have that growing pool of players but they do have a spiritual and cultural commitment to the sport that noone else can match. Anyone watching them play in this competition will have been amazed by the individual skills and talent on display. Canada as well draw on their pool of Box talent to supplement their field game, and while we still argue in the UK about whether the sport is too rough for U10s to take part in Canada there are well supported leagues in place with 4 year olds competing. Comparing the resources available and the culture of sporting achievement in North America with England is as someone posted elesewhere like comparing apples and oranges.

So the issue for me is can we retain our place as No 1 in Europe, and also compete to regain the No 1 non- North American nation against Australia, Japan and the new emerging nations.

There will be others who can express their opinions on this in terms of playing ability and preparation far better than me such as Scott, and Dave. From my point of view though at U19s level the ad hoc approach taken in regard to the development of Youth (U16) Lacrosse in England places our future position in the World rankings at risk and needs some serious consideration and planning. Considering Universities as being the primary source of Elite players in the future is to me a risky strategy. A dual approach of this and a National Youth development strategy based round local clubs or playing organisations whose main aim is to raise the profile of the sport is the way forward. This means getting both current league, and all regional structures to participate in and support the strategy and to accept that there is no difference in growing the game and develoing Elite Lacrosse. They go hand in hand.

Well done to the England squad, congratulations and thanks to all the coaching and support staff, and thanks as well to the parents and families of the players without whose support the squad could not have functioned at all. It was due to their efforts and commitment that I got to witness some superb exciting lacrosse.
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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby UKLaxfan Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:58 pm

MG,

Well said, England U19s players, coaches, management & Support staff along with the parents all gave everything they had to these games to Represent England in the 2012 World U19s Men's Lacrosse Championships

The sacrifices made physically, mentally, financially and time spent away from friends, family and work of all those who were involved not just the 23 players selected but also the players who were part of the squad in the build up is to be commended.

Hopefully all those that took part enjoyed the experience and will have memories and have made friendships that will last a lifetime

You do raise some very good points that this performance in finishing 4th in a World Championship will become increasingly difficult as other Countries around Europe and developing faster than England and the gap between the Big three (USA, Canada & Iroquois) is increasing

Results:
England
Date Home Score Away

13.07.2012 England 2 - 24 Iroquois - Loss
14.07.2012 England 10 - 9 Australia - Win
15.07.2012 USA 20 - 1 England - Loss
16.07.2012 Canada 22 - 3 England - Loss
18.07.2012 Czech Republic 8 - 17 England - Win
19.07.2012 Canada 15 - 4 England - Loss
21.07.2012 Iroquois 18 - 1 England - Loss

Games Played 7 - Won 2 Lost 5
Goals Scored = 38 (5.4 GPG)
Goals Conceded = 116 (16.6 GPG)

The win over Australia was absolutely huge and meant England would finish 4th if they could beat Czech Republic
If they had lost that game the best they could finish was 5th

England U19s were not competitive vs USA/Canada/Iroquois and it is not surprising when you consider
- number of players
- financial support
- level of domestic competition
- Coaching
- Experience of players
- Infrastructure of domestic game

England's closest rival and with a similar domestic set up is Australia and they have less financial support than England
Australia Results:
Date Home Score Away

13.07.2012 USA 24 - 6 Australia - Loss
14.07.2012 England 10 - 9 Australia - Loss
16.07.2012 Australia 9 - 17 Iroquois - Loss
17.07.2012 Australia 3 - 25 Canada - Loss
19.07.2012 Finland 7 - 16 Australia - Win
21.07.2012 Australia 27 - 4 Czech Republic - Win

Played 6 Games - Won 2 Lost 4
Goals Scored = 70 (11.7 GPG)
Goals Conceded = 87 (14.5 GPG)

Comparing relative scores against Big Three doesn't really work as neither England nor Australia were competitive in these games.
There was one common opponent outside the Big Three - Czech Republic (Aus 27-4 W, Eng 17-8 W)

The game that counted though was a 10-9 Win for England vs Australia where the England team dug deep and came up big with a crucial win.

Finland, Germany, Czech Republic, Scotland & Wales all had players better than those on the England Team but didn't have the depth
Most of the players that were at a higher level were North American ex-Pats with a couple of exceptions
#13 Finland - Ansi Kaisalmi
#50 Finland - Roope Jokkola
#18 Finland - Joakim Brander
#29 Czech Republic - Dominik Pesek
#3 Czech Republic - Radek Skala

These are the players England should be worried about as they are the ones who are born and bred in their native Country and have learned the game in their domestic leagues (Dominic Pesek has had a year at the Hill Academy but is 100% CZ)

I applaud and agree with the decision to select players from England who actually represent the domestic lacrosse in England and more importantly who will return to their clubs and hopefully share their experiences with their team mates.

Lacrosse Tourists who turn up every 4 years and play in World Championships do absolutely nothing for the Long Term Development of the game in the Country they represent.

If a player is born outside the UK but lives and plays here and is eligible that is a different matter.
Well done to England Coaching staff for sticking to their guns and selecting domestic players

If England at some point are not good enough to stay in the Top Blue Group at some point in the future then so be it, if it is a true reflection of the domestic level of lacrosse in this Country.

All of which leads up to the next point...

What can be done to improve the level of competition and the numbers of players domestically in the UK?
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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby UKLacrosse Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:07 pm

Git, I also applaud the decision to work only with home grown players. Only with that approach can we motivate those players that they have a real opportunity to work hard and achieve a place playing for their country. Take 3, 4 or more places away by adding overseas players reduces considerably that opportunity. If we pursue/ adopt a policy of opening selection up to anyone who qualifies, regardless of their commitment to the game in this country, then all we achieve is to delude ourselves in where our domestic game really is. If we can achieve what the U19's did in Turku, would we have beaten any of the top three with the addition of overseas players? I doubt it. Maybe we could have beaten Australia more easily, but what those guys did makes the achievement even greater. Equally, I believe those 'imports' who competed at the 2010 Worlds did very little to close the gap. I still believe we could have achieved the same position without them. Just because the rules permit it, does not mean we have to follow that path, but that I guess is down to selection policy, and the management. No doubt over the next 12-18 months there will be a lot of US/ Canadian players all trying to find a way to play in Denver!

One critical factor in the Iroquois development is the huge support that Nike are making to their sports, as well as the ever-increasing opportunities that are opening up for NCAA and MLL/ NLL for their better players. Those factors are really bringing their results closer to USA/ Canada, and opening a gap between the top 3 and the rest.

The biggest danger we have in England, is the development of youth programmes in other countries. That undoubtedly will produce home grown players over a period of years, but it may also replace their current strategies for using overseas players who qualify. Despite what a number of people have said about European Lacrosse I still do not believe that it is drastically closing the gap on us here .... not yet! European Lacrosse is becoming more competitive, as it spreads to other countries, and put that together with youth development, the results will come. One factor which may help us in the UK, is the university growth, where we may see more players from youth development staying in the game because they can continue to play if/ when they continue their education at university. Not sure how the lower numbers going down the university path will affect that but .... Despite the successful youth programme in the North, this appears to have served only to replace those retiring from the game, rather than growing the game.

We do need a better structure to youth development. In the past those fortunate to participate in the Stockport Metro's programme had a distinct advantage over those who didn't ... now we have the English Knights, which has added considerably to development of the better players in the North. Unfortunately, the South still lags way behind and that is mainly due to resources and regular competition.
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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby UKLaxfan Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:37 pm

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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby UKLaxfan Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:50 pm

One thing that could definitely improve is communication and the accuracy of reporting on the ELA Website

http://www.englishlacrosse.co.uk/team-e ... orld-3791/

According to them England U19s only conceded 75 goals (instead of 116) :roll:

Apparently they don't have spell check or grammar either
ELA Website wrote:Team England U19 loose their bronze medal game to the Iroquois Nationals who retained the medal with an 18-1 victory.
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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby Phil Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:57 pm

I don't, really, disagree with anything which is being said nor do I have a long list of suggester improvements. One thing I would offer (whilst I prepare to be slated to the hills, probably) which is absolutely free to every club, the world over is: working on discipline.

I've not been playing lacrosse long, I'll never play for a national side, I highly doubt I'll ever be as good as any of the u19 squad but I know if you are ever one man down for a little as 30 seconds you put yourself in unnecessary trouble and at a disadvantage. In both the u19 tournament and the euros the England teams were up there with the high penalty times. I'm not saying that's the difference between 3rd and 4th, but why not work on what you can work on? If funding/local structure/whatever/whatever is the reason England finishes 4th in u19 tournaments then fine - finish the best 4th you can. Then if/when the those things holding you back from 3rd place are sorted out, however long that may take, England won't be coming 4th because of time spent on penalties and really waste an opportunity.

Some people have said overseas referees give a way penalties easier. To that I'd say: suck it up. The referee is the referee. That should take, at most, one game to figure out and address, not an entire tournament or 1-2 games and still play the same way anyway. Personally I think the problem is probably on our Island and the way we do, or don't, referee rather than the rest of the world but I've probably blasphemed enough already in this post.

To any coaching staff/players/parents reading this who I might have annoyed - I'm not saying anything I wouldn't, and haven't, said to my team mates and I'm sure will have to say again. I'm not 'gunning for you' because I've nothing better to do, I'm only saying it because I think it's true and needs saying. If the ELA, referees, players and clubs clamp down on it now England might spend more time on the pitch in games in the future. Equally I know far less than most about lacrosse, so feel free to disregard my entire post.

Phil
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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby Jim13 Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:37 pm

Which England players stood out?

And aside from the above, I'd love to see more of our lads try out for NCAA and bring their knowledge back to the game.

I think we've produced some great players (and still are - a few of this team have looked good prospects when I've played them this season) who would flourish with the intensity over there.
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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby UKLacrosse Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:03 pm

mmm...beer wrote:Which England players stood out?

And aside from the above, I'd love to see more of our lads try out for NCAA and bring their knowledge back to the game.

I think we've produced some great players (and still are - a few of this team have looked good prospects when I've played them this season) who would flourish with the intensity over there.


That's a good point ... intensity of competition. It's one thing to be a talented player, or one with the potential to be good, but the intensity of competition does accelerate improvement. We have a lot more competitive lacrosse, but those competitions are not of a such a high standard which will test our better players.
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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby orange05 Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:38 pm

mmm...beer wrote:Which England players stood out?


Haven't seen every minute of every game (yet) but Ryan Hunns gets my vote for team MVP
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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby Moaning Git Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:38 pm

I am never sure that seeking an MVP is useful. Hunns was excellent. Condron worked hard and had some superb moments up front. Carney set up some excellent opportunities around the crease as well as scoring a few, the keepers Connor and Hewitt did a very good job in difficult circumstances, Weddell played with flair and determination and reminded me of the Iroquois in style. Sweetman worked hard as you would expect, Kinder had his moments, Hurry and Barrett both provided a much needed solidity in defence, but the more you look at the games it becomes clear that solid team performances were seen throughout.
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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby Stato Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:51 pm

Having watched all the games it would be unfair to single out any one player as an MVP. The whole team performed well.
However, if any part of it deseves recognition, it is the 5 defense players who worked their butts off for 75 minutes of every game with the 2 keepers behind them.
Hats off to all of them - Barrett, Cara, Connor, Fisher, Hewit, Hurry and Smith - well done.
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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby joshlacrosse13 Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:54 pm

Phil wrote:
I've not been playing lacrosse long, I'll never play for a national side, I highly doubt I'll ever be as good as any of the u19 squad but I know if you are ever one man down for a little as 30 seconds you put yourself in unnecessary trouble and at a disadvantage. In both the u19 tournament and the euros the England teams were up there with the high penalty times. I'm not saying that's the difference between 3rd and 4th, but why not work on what you can work on? If funding/local structure/whatever/whatever is the reason England finishes 4th in u19 tournaments then fine - finish the best 4th you can. Then if/when the those things holding you back from 3rd place are sorted out, however long that may take, England won't be coming 4th because of time spent on penalties and really waste an opportunity.

Some people have said overseas referees give a way penalties easier. To that I'd say: suck it up. The referee is the referee. That should take, at most, one game to figure out and address, not an entire tournament or 1-2 games and still play the same way anyway. Personally I think the problem is probably on our Island and the way we do, or don't, referee rather than the rest of the world but I've probably blasphemed enough already in this post.


Phil


As a player I agree we may have given away some unnecessary penalties at some points which could have been avoided. However if you look at the amount of penalties Australia also took then I would say that there is a correlation between the amount of time spent defending and the amount of penalties racked up. During the games agaisnt the top 3 teams we probably defended for 3/4 of the game.
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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby young_trig Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:57 pm

Stato wrote:However, if any part of it deseves recognition, it is the 5 defense players who worked their butts off for 75 minutes of every game with the 2 keepers behind them.


Did they just give up for the other 5 minutes?
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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby rpowell Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:05 pm

young_trig wrote:
Stato wrote:However, if any part of it deseves recognition, it is the 5 defense players who worked their butts off for 75 minutes of every game with the 2 keepers behind them.


Did they just give up for the other 5 minutes?


Nope, that's the 5 minutes you actually get to attack when you up against a team of the calibre of USA...
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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby Moaning Git Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:23 pm

I would say that there is a correlation between the amount of time spent defending and the amount of penalties racked up.


I am not sure that is the case all the time. Looking at the penalties in the Australia game we piled up penalties at the start, then settled down while the Aussies started to hand it out and lost discipline and ended up with I think 14.5 mins of penalties. Interesting to note that a similar thing happened in the USA Iroquois games. Calls for unsportsmanlike and crosschecks should have little to do with tight defending.
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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby rpowell Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:24 pm

UKLaxfan wrote:Hopefully all those that took part enjoyed the experience and will have memories and have made friendships that will last a lifetime

Absolutely - and they only get one shot at U19.

For some of these players, this will have been a stepping stone to Denver or a subsequent major Championships. Tournament play isn't like your common or garden Saturday fixture, and they'll have a head-start.

UKLaxfan wrote:Results:
England
Date Home Score Away

13.07.2012 England 2 - 24 Iroquois - Loss
14.07.2012 England 10 - 9 Australia - Win
15.07.2012 USA 20 - 1 England - Loss
16.07.2012 Canada 22 - 3 England - Loss
18.07.2012 Czech Republic 8 - 17 England - Win
19.07.2012 Canada 15 - 4 England - Loss
21.07.2012 Iroquois 18 - 1 England - Loss

Maybe I'm being over optimistic, but note that the goal differential was better the second time round against both Canada & Iroquois.
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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby UKLaxfan Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:45 am

Stato wrote:Having watched all the games it would be unfair to single out any one player as an MVP. The whole team performed well.
However, if any part of it deseves recognition, it is the 5 defense players who worked their butts off for 75 minutes of every game with the 2 keepers behind them.
Hats off to all of them - Barrett, Cara, Connor, Fisher, Hewit, Hurry and Smith - well done.


I agree the Defence and Goalies deserve all the plaudits on this team

Goal
#2 Mike Connor made some exceptional saves 1-on-1 that he had no right to make
#1 James Hewitt had a slow start vs tough Iroquois team but kept his head up and played well in later games
(Once I stop calling him Nick he performed much better :oops: )

Defence
I was impressed with
#5 Bill Fisher
#4 Danny Smith
#14 Oliver Barrett

#3 Josh Hurry was playing with multiple injuries and did well just to get on the field
#6 Vince Cara was playing with a heavily strapped knee, I don't think we saw the best of him

Midfield
#23 Ryan Sweetman fought for everything all week long and provided some highlights including running over a USA middie :D
#20 Matt Collier scored crucial winning goal vs Australia
#9 Lewis Curtis demonstrated show outside shooting skills
#7 Ryan Hunns - scored probably the Goal of the Tournament vs Australia (the equalizer at 9-all)

Attack
#13 Dan Condron - improved throughout the week, missed a game thru injury but came back
#22 Jake Weddell - scored a key goal vs Aus and a highlight goal vs Canada

Overall
the Goalies and defence were far busier than the attack

Games versus the Big Three were not competitive
Iroquois Nationals
24-2 L
18-1 L

Canada
22-3 L
15-4 L

USA
20-1 L

Played 5, Lost 5, GF 11, GA 101

The last quarter vs USA was the worst where the USA simply stopped playing and didn't go to goal

It was a very tough 10 days for all the English boys competing against the best U19 players in the World

There is no better way to learn how good you need to be to compete at the highest level than to play against them, up close and personal

Every single one of the English players gave everything they had
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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby young_trig Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:09 am

UKLaxfan wrote:
Stato wrote:Having watched all the games it would be unfair to single out any one player as an MVP. The whole team performed well.
However, if any part of it deseves recognition, it is the 5 defense players who worked their butts off for 75 minutes of every game with the 2 keepers behind them.
Hats off to all of them - Barrett, Cara, Connor, Fisher, Hewit, Hurry and Smith - well done.


I agree the Defence and Goalies deserve all the plaudits on this team

Goal
#2 Mike Connor made some exceptional saves 1-on-1 that he had no right to make
#1 James Hewitt had a slow start vs tough Iroquois team but kept his head up and played well in later games
(Once I stop calling him Nick he performed much better :oops: )

Defence
I was impressed with
#5 Bill Fisher
#4 Danny Smith
#14 Oliver Barrett

#3 Josh Hurry was playing with multiple injuries and did well just to get on the field
#6 Vince Cara was playing with a heavily strapped knee, I don't think we saw the best of him

Midfield
#23 Ryan Sweetman fought for everything all week long and provided some highlights including running over a USA middie :D
#20 Matt Collier scored crucial winning goal vs Australia
#9 Lewis Curtis demonstrated show outside shooting skills
#7 Ryan Hunns - scored probably the Goal of the Tournament vs Australia (the equalizer at 9-all)

Attack
#13 Dan Condron - improved throughout the week, missed a game thru injury but came back
#22 Jake Weddell - scored a key goal vs Aus and a highlight goal vs Canada

Overall
the Goalies and defence were far busier than the attack

Games versus the Big Three were not competitive
Iroquois Nationals
24-2 L
18-1 L

Canada
22-3 L
15-4 L

USA
20-1 L

Played 5, Lost 5, GF 11, GA 101

The last quarter vs USA was the worst where the USA simply stopped playing and didn't go to goal

It was a very tough 10 days for all the English boys competing against the best U19 players in the World

There is no better way to learn how good you need to be to compete at the highest level than to play against them, up close and personal

Every single one of the English players gave everything they had



Its quite interesting that the Senior side took 7 long poles to a tournie where they spent the majority of their time attacking against oposition they were stronger than, and in quite a reversal the U19's team took just 5 long poles to a tournie where they were probably expected to spend the majority of their time defending against stronger opostition.

I'm not saying if that was right or wrong, just that the U19s defence clearly had to work their socks off.
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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby UKLacrosse Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:35 pm

young_trig wrote:
UKLaxfan wrote:
Defence
I was impressed with
#5 Bill Fisher
#4 Danny Smith
#14 Oliver Barrett

#3 Josh Hurry was playing with multiple injuries and did well just to get on the field
#6 Vince Cara was playing with a heavily strapped knee, I don't think we saw the best of him


Its quite interesting that the Senior side took 7 long poles to a tournie where they spent the majority of their time attacking against oposition they were stronger than, and in quite a reversal the U19's team took just 5 long poles to a tournie where they were probably expected to spend the majority of their time defending against stronger opostition.

I'm not saying if that was right or wrong, just that the U19s defence clearly had to work their socks off.


Especially when they ended up with 2 carrying injuries? Didn't a short stick pick up a pole in one game?
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Re: U19 - Thoughts and comments

Postby Phil Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:48 pm

joshlacrosse13 wrote:As a player I agree we may have given away some unnecessary penalties at some points which could have been avoided. However if you look at the amount of penalties Australia also took then I would say that there is a correlation between the amount of time spent defending and the amount of penalties racked up. During the games agaisnt the top 3 teams we probably defended for 3/4 of the game.


That's an interesting point I hadn't really thought of before. Could make sense with the u19s, doesn't quite add up at the senior level at the Euros where England were tournament winners though. I'm aware we're not here to discuss the Euros, but there could be a link.

Phil

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