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South of England - A Season Ends, a New One Begins

Recruit, Recruit,  Recruit

Wow, the season’s over like it seems only yesterday and we’re already preparing for the next one.

For the English Lacrosse staff that means interviewing potential coaches to go into the Local Development Officer  (LDO) and School Community Officer  (SCO) Scheme. So two weeks of flat out interviewing in Baltimore was the order of the day (taking in the final four weekend of course). I must say, the standard of applicants from the US this year is outstanding, lots of coaching and lots of teaching experience, coupled with a good playing ability.

For those not in the know, the LDO program has been running since 1983 (the SCO about 10 years ago) when it was decided that the game in England needed a push, what better way than to bring in outside expertise.

Now 26 years later we bring in over 80 coaches, we place them at clubs and large (mainly boarding) schools. The contracts are for a year, and this crop of coaches will have the extra incentive of a major tournament at the end of the season (yes the World Cup in Manchester is now one season away). Of course a lot of the work is making sure the right coach fits the right program, and that’s what June is all about, we’ve looked at the coaches, time to fit square pegs into not so square holes. Given that the majority of the SCO’s are in the South of England, that means lots of miles and telephone conversations for yours truly.

On the South domestic front Lacrosse is now in tournament mode and the domestic closing tournament “Bluesfest 09” was this weekend This is a two day camp over affair and extremely popular, the tent village goes up on the Friday, and the partying starts, lots of Lacrosse (Men’s and Women’s) on the Saturday, live band in the evening, more lacrosse on the Sunday…job done. With well over 400 players staying over (including the referees) it’s a mammoth job for the host club Walcountian Blues, and they should be congratulated for getting it all to run so smoothly. The Men’s final was between the Northern guest team called Jedi Lacrosse and the LDO team (not sure of the name, might have been SOCO and Lime, without the lime). The Women’s was between Croydon Foxes and the SCO team called Gin and Juice, there is definitely a theme being used by the Americans.

This week sees the Australian Women play England at Cobham Lacrosse club (near London) before both teams go on to Prague to compete in the World Cup, a real coup for a new and upcoming club, 1100 tickets sold is a great achievement in an area not known for lacrosse.

On the update side, in case you’ve actually read my other Blogs, Mike Carey (bad leg, remember) is well on the mend, the wounds have all but healed (fantastic scars) and he’s starting to jog, although he won’t be fully mobile, he still intends to attend two US camps this summer, the firs being at Navy, brave or mad….you decide.

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