MANCHESTER, England _ The 2010 world field lacrosse experience is much different for Jordan Hall than it was in 2006.
He was still a college student four years ago and was a late Team Canada fill. Now he’s a vet with a major-league reputation.
“I look at the team a lot different this time around,’’ he says. “In 2006, I was like Kevin Crowley is this year _ a late addition.
“AJ Shannon got hurt and I was able to come in and take his position as a midfielder. I was young and I looked up to everybody. It was almost like, `Wow, these are all guys I look up to and watched play lacrosse in pro and I’m playing with them.’
“This time around it’s a different feel because I know most of the guys from ’06 or from playing pro indoors and outdoors. The team, for me, has a different feel. I feel like we’re more athletic, and we keep getting that way. Our team defence seems to have a little more experience with longpoles in their hands.
“Last time when we won it was a surprise and I feel like we still might be a surprise to win it but I feel there’s a little bit more of a collective team confidence. It isn’t overconfidence but we know we can play because so many of our guys play in the MLL now.’’
Dave Huntley was an assistant coach on the team that won it all four years ago and he’s head man now. He coaches Hall in the MLL with the Toronto Nationals and has coached against him in the NLL, too. He’s watched Hall steadily progress.
“I think Jordan is the best midfielder in the world, without a doubt,’’ says Huntley. “He’s the best two-way player in the NLL and the best midfielder in the MLL. He’s been playing at that level for the last two or three years.’’
Hall made some big plays in ’06 when he was the youngest player on the team, still attending the University of Delaware. Some were surprised he could make them. Now, it’s a given he’ll make big plays.
“He’s a guy who’s on the field for us at the end of the game whether it’s for a big offensive possession or a big defensive situation or a big faceoff,’’ says Huntley. “He’s the one guy on our team who is on the field at the most important times and that’s a real tribute to him.’’
Hall, 25, is among that pack of elite players who has no full-time job outside lacrosse. They don’t make big bucks playing lacrosse but they make it work.
“You play a lot of games a year,’’ he says with a smile. “You play in three different leagues and you work your own (instructional) camps.’’
His home is Surrey, B.C. The camps he operates are usually in the Vancouver region. He moves to Florida for the January-to-May NLL season to play for the Orlando Titans. During summer, he plays for the WLA’s New Westminster Salmonbellies and he flies into Toronto for Nationals MLL games.
He has a marketing degree from Delaware and will soon make use of it.
“I just got my green card so it’s a matter of living in the States for six months and a day now if I want to keep it,’’ he says. “I don’t plan on quitting lacrosse.’’
Hall’s Orlando team is being asked by the NLL to show it is financially stable enough to continue into the 2011 season but that won’t disrupt his concentration on the task at hand.
“I’ve just kinda left that at home,’’ he says. “As soon as I get home, I’ll look into it and start worrying about it then ’’
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