Even though a several weeks ago Thailand Lacrosse Association (TLA) has announced the 26 men who will travel to Denver in July to represent Thailand in its first appearance in the World Championship. During the boot camp before the World Championship, special attention will be paid to the backfield. Due to injuries in the defense and goalie positions, the changes have been made in the 26 athletes traveling to Denver to represent Thailand.
“Anytime you have injuries, it’s an unfortunate situation not only for the player but for the team,” Thailand’s Defensive Coordinator Andy German said. “However, for a player to be injured a month away from the opening ceremonies seems a bit more unfair and a bit more unfortunate. The players and the whole TLA have been preparing for this event for years now and to not be able to showcase Thailand Lacrosse at full strength is a bit unlucky. At the end of the day though, no one feels bad for us and we need the next guy in line to step up and embrace the opportunity. We will also need everyone else to take their games to another level. Our expectations and our goals have not changed and I know myself, Coach Sheridan and Coach Brand all feel that way.”
“It is unfortunate for us to lose two players from the original 26 man roster to injuries this late in the game, but that is why we chose to bring 26 players to Denver,” Payu Nerngchamnong, the President of TLA, said. “Instead of bringing exactly 23 players, these injuries are the reality we must face with our kind of sport. However, we will not travel to Denver with just 24 players come July, as we have brought in two very capable players to fill in those two vacancies on the roster. I am very confident that both Dylan and Andy can come up with a defensive scheme that will work well for our defensive unit. It is why we go to Denver a full week early, which we will have a lot of time to iron out any kinks, besides time for the players to get fully adjusted.”
To replace the two injured players are Alex Durrant, the Connecticut College bound Thai-American at close defense. And in goal, Denver’s local Ben Brown will be replacing the injured Alex Wattanavekin who suffered a torn ACL during practice several weeks ago.
Additionally in the week preceding the tournament, TLA will take part in a CityLax event as well as go to a local children’s hospital. The team is excited to have an opportunity to spend time with the local children of Denver and give back to the city that will host the Thai Team for three weeks in July. It’s also will be a good change of pace from the grueling five day boot camp for the players ahead of the World Games.
In other important news, Payu stated that TLA will stand by its commitment to the World Championship in Denver despite the political happenings occurring in Thailand.
“With regards to our current situation, and the participation status for the FIL World Lacrosse Championship 2014 in Denver this July. Even though the Military controlled state that Thailand is currently in, have affected many of the logistical aspect for TLA toward the preparation for Denver. At this time, Thailand Lacrosse is proud to stand by our commitment of participation at the tournament.”
Payu also stated, “we would like to thank all those well wishes, and voice of concerns for the situation in Thailand from our friends, fans, in various outlets. We will keep everyone updated, as the situation here progresses. And we are looking forward to showcase our skills, at the World’s biggest stage in one month time.”
Guiding TLA in their first World Championship will be Head Coach Dylan Sheridan.
Sheridan is the assistant coach at the University of Denver, where he serves under legendary coach Bill Tierney. Coach Sheridan will use his experiences at Denver and from his years in the sport to lead TLA in its first World Games.
“I’ve been so fortunate to work with and play for some extremely distinguished coaches throughout my career,” Sheridan said. “I am so thankful for them and for their continued mentorship. I didn’t get into college coaching with an illustrious pedigree, so spending time with men that have led their teams to NCAA Championships and helmed some of the most acclaimed programs in our sport, can at times feel surreal. I don’t take it for granted for one minute.”
Coach Sheridan is excited for the World Championship this summer. This competition will not only be significant to Sheridan in his role as head coach, but it is also important for all that TLA will be able to accomplish in its first time in the competition.
“This experience will be different and far more exciting than my previous international lacrosse experiences because of what Team Thailand represents. I truly feel like this a once in a lifetime opportunity. The scope of influence these World Games could have for the sport is incredible. Success and failure won’t be measured in medals or even wins. The goal is to do everything within our power to honor the sport of lacrosse and Thailand, to compete to the best of our ability, become a stronger program/team every day we are together, and to leave it all on the field.”
Read more about the coaches leading TLA this summer here.
TLA will have another opportunity to compete against international opponents in the 2015 Asia Pacific Lacrosse Championship. Asia Pacific Lacrosse Union (APLU) Executive Board passed a unanimous decision to award the bid to host the ASPAC tournament to Thailand.
“With sincere thanks to Payu, and TLA, for this opportunity that we hope shall fully realized the aspirations of the host country and provide the competition opportunity for participants throughout Asia and the Pacific regions,” APLU Executive Director Fiona Clark said.
TLA is planning to accommodate as many as 10 men’s teams and six women’s teams in next summer’s tournament, surpassing the ASPAC2013 in Beijing in number of participating countries. Thailand will host the APLU member nations in the complex of IMPACT the Exhibition and Convention Center.
“On behalf of Thailand Lacrosse Association, and our partners, I would like to express our sincere thanks to the APLU board,” Payu said. “It’s been a long road for us to get to this point, many parties have worked tirelessly. To put together a very strong and thoughtful bid proposal for this event. However, securing the bid is just part of the big picture of our development aspirations not just for Thailand, but for our region as well.”
Thailand will be hosting the third Annual Singha Battles in Bangkok this October, where TLA will invite more teams to participate to simulate a “dry-run” for the ASPAC2015.
With less than two weeks to go, there are much more ground to cover. But be sure to look out for upcoming announcements about the new TLA partnerships, and development initiatives.