On this edition of TLA Quick Chat, we speak to Dane Phonsai Sengaloun-Homsab of St. Michael’s and a member of Thailand National lacrosse team. Dane, had been with TLA since it’s first year, and played in every the friendly games against Hong Kong in Bangkok. This young middie put up quite an impressive numbers on a statistic book for Team Thailand, and will be one of the star on the Thai team at Denver in 2014.
How long have you been playing lacrosse, and why did you started playing lacrosse?
I started playing lacrosse in high school. My step-father Greg Frost played in high school and had a few sticks laying around the house which sparked my interest. Initially I only played lacrosse to keep me in shape for soccer, but by the time college came around I decided to pursue lacrosse instead of my prior dreams of playing college soccer.
How did you manage to find, and be a part of Thailand Lacrosse?
Here’s a big shout out to a friend of mine, Chris Dyer who I played summer ball with (Who also went to Eaglebrook school with Payu) . He suggested the fan page for Thailand lacrosse to me, and the rest seemed to put itself together with a lot of help from my family, and Payu.
What is it like playing for your home country?
Being able to represent a country of my heritage is an honor (I am halfblooded). I have met many great people and made friends that I otherwise would not have known. I am proud to wear the flag of the Kingdom of Thailand.
Since you are one of the original member, how does your experience each year different for you going into it’s Third year?
When I made my first trip to Thailand to play against Hong Kong, I had no idea what to expect. It was the first time playing outside the United States for me. I had never met anyone I was playing with on the team, or would be staying with.The last two contests against CVLC and Hong Kong have shown me that the bond between the players is certainly increased, as well as individual skills and understanding of the game over time. Everyone always talks about the gears we get, needless to say Payu and our partners always impressed everyone with the quality of equipments for the team. More importantly though, exposure and the growth of the game in Thailand is increasing because of it, and I am excited to see that.
Thailand being criticized for only seem to focus on the National team, and not development of lacrosse in Thailand. What do you feel about that?
I don’t think that is the case, even so I think that it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, you need to start at the younger ages to produce the players of the future, but it’s not THE absolute solution for a growing program. Right now I think the focus is exposure, and getting the word out in Thailand that lacrosse is a sport. And the national team is a vessel of that for the Thai people, on top of TLA’s other efforts for lacrosse development. Hopefully this sparks interest with the youth of Thailand the same way I found inspiration, resulting in the overall growth of lacrosse in Thailand.
How’s the working relationship with Payu? He told us that he expected you to lead the “youth brigade” of Thailand lacrosse, is that true?
Payu has been great to me, and I am very grateful. He has helped me with a lot of lacrosse related “obstacles” I have had these past few years. I suppose being one of the oldest younger players has put me in this position. Which I just aim to help the TLA in any way I can, and I knows that Payu will help me embrace that role.
Is Steve Hess a good coach?
Steve Hess is a GREAT coach. He, just like Payu has helped me with lacrosse in very big ways. Steve’s a straight shooter and tells it like it is, which I find motivational. He definitely showed me a thing or two about defense to be a better offensive player from his experience in the Division I… although he’s no PT Ricci (ha ha. Joking of course).
What had Sean and Chazz done for lacrosse in Thailand?
Sean, and Chazz are both phenomenal players. I think the biggest things they bring to lacrosse in Thailand are their athletic prowess, skills, and knowledge of the game. Their personal knowledge and passion of the game certainly helps our team’s performance. They seem to have a lot of effect on the guys in Thailand, despite some of them never heard of Sean Lindsay or Chazz Woodson before.
What can we expect from Thailand Lacrosse this season?
Payu always have a few cards up his sleeves, but he seem to play it pretty close to his chest. I think this year like the last two, will yield significant progress in growth of the sport, improvement of skills on the team. Especially with the introduction of new players, staffs, and tougher schedules will help get Thailand a step closer to Denver. For King and Country!