From Canadian Men’s Indoor Lacrosse Team
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
COLIN DOYLE NAMED CANADA’S CAPTAIN FOR WORLD TOURNAMENT
PRAGUE – Colin Doyle has been named captain of Canada’s team for the world indoor men’s lacrosse championship.
The players gathered for a team dinner shortly after checking into their hotel Wednesday night and head coach Ed Comeau announced that the Toronto Rock captain from Kitchener would wear the C on the chest of his Team Canada sweater. Dan Dawson of Oakville and Brodie Merrill of Orangeville are the assistant captains.
“Colin has been a captain on NLL teams and has developed into one of the premier leaders in the sport,’’ says Comeau. “We felt that in a short tournament like this where a team has to come together and be on the same page we needed extremely strong leadership from within and we all agreed as a staff that Colin was our guy.
“We think he’s going to be great at it and help us prepare to play in these games.’’
The eight-country tournament, which lasts eight days, begins Saturday. Canada plays its first game against Slovakia on Sunday. Other entries are the Iroquois Nationals, the United States, England, Ireland, Australia and the host Czech Republic.
The Rock beat the Washington Stealth 8-7 to win the NLL title in Toronto on Sunday.
“It’s been hectic, and tiring,’’ Doyle said of the quick turnaround from wearing Rock colours to donning Canada’s colours. “Trying not to focus on the world championships while you’re preparing for an NLL final is difficult but we’re here, we’re going to get a good night’s sleep, and we’ll start fresh Thursday.’’
Comeau scheduled a practice for noon and Canada plays the Czech Republic in an exhibition scrimmage Thursday evening. Former Rock captain Jim Veltman is coaching the Czech side.
Doyle said he was excited and honoured to be asked to serve as Canada’s captain.
“It’s something I never expected would happen,’’ he said. “It’s pretty neat.
“It’s going to be fun. I’m looking forward to being one of the many great leaders on this team and hopefully getting the chance to hoist that trophy at the end.’’
There were previous world indoor men’s tournaments in southern Ontario in 2003 and in Halifax in 2007. Canada won both and Doyle was a big part of those teams.
“Playing at home in Kitchener was neat,’’ he recalled. “I remember playing the Iroquois in the final in Hamilton and there was a big crowd. It seemed that the whole concept was gaining some traction.’’
Four years ago, Canada edged the Iroquois in overtime to retain the title, and now it is bidding for a third in a row.
“In tournaments like this, the hardest thing to make sure of is that you’re sharp all the time and focused on the goal at hand,’’ Doyle said. “Sometimes that’s not easy to do when you’re in new places that are exciting.
“My job will be to help keep the focus on that end goal, which is winning the gold medal. It’s hard to believe we’re in the Czech Republic playing for a world championship. That’s something I never would have expected. It’s going to be really cool to see lacrosse on the other side of the pond so to speak, see how the fans react to it and see how these other countries are evolving.’’
Doyle held a players-only meeting after executive director Dean French, GM Johnny Mouradian and Comeau addressed the players.
“Remember how great an honour it is to play for your country, cherish it, do good on it, and let’s go home champions,’’ was his recap of what he had to say.
First-round games should see Canada post lopsided wins but then it’s on to the more difficult clashes with the Iroquois and the Americans.
“This is going to be no gimme,’’ Doyle warned. “The semifinal and the final are the games we need to be at our best for.
“There are full expectations that we’ll win the early games but we need to make sure in those games that we’re getting better and we’re understanding systems and expectations from the coaches. We’ll have to work hard. Sometimes if you’re not working hard and you’re not making progress that stuff can catch up with you. It almost did against a very, very good team four years ago that we probably underestimated. We can’t make that mistake again. We have to make sure we’re at our best when we need to be at our best.’’
Team Canada media contact: Neil Stevens is at firstname.lastname@example.org