Several team training camps opened on December 5th. NLL.com checks in at camps to see how things are going as teams begin to get ready for the 2010 NLL season.
The Orlandio Titans have opened their first-ever training camp in Central Florida. "We're excited to practice in the 70 degree weather", said team captain Casey Powell.
With several team training camps opening on December 5, here is a look at some of the news from around the league.
The Washington Stealth opened their first training camp in Everett on Saturday. The team is taking the floor at the Comcast Arena for the first time, with practices that are open to the public. According to Stealth head coach Chris Hall, anticipation for the team and season is building. "I've had the opportunity to be in the Everett area for a little while now, and the excitement that we've been welcomed with and the enthusiasm of the lacrosse community and all the other people in the community has been very special for me," Hall told the Everett Herald.
It's also a fresh start in Orlando, where the Titans open up their first training camp in Central Florida this weekend. Most of the big names from that team have re-signed for the 2010 season, including Casey Powell. Powell was recently named to the all-decade team by Inside Lacrosse Magazine and is a former four-time All-American at Syracuse and four-time NLL All-Star. "I'm extremely excited to get started," Powell said. "The reception we have received so far in Orlando has been nothing short of incredible. Most of our guys are used to trudging through snow on their way to the arena for training camp; now our guys are going to be practicing outdoors in 70 degree weather. It's a welcome change."
The Calgary Roughnecks open training camp open training camp this weekend as well. The returning members of the championship team will receive their rings in a special event with the team's season ticket holders on Sunday. It will be a special moment, but Roughnecks Owner & General Manager Brad Banister told the Calgary Sun that the ring doesn't guarantee anybody a spot on the 2010 roster.
"In 2004, after we won the Champion's Cup, I think we got complacent. This year, I decided we wouldn't be complacent with what we had because every team is going to be getting better and coming after us," said Banister to the Calgary Sun. "We're real good, but we want to be getting better all the time. We don't want to get complacent. Maybe we'll have better talent sitting in the press box this year."
In Edmonton, Rush camp is underway and under the direction of new General Manager/Head Coach Derek Keenan. The Rush have welcomed several new faces to the lineup " in particular former league Defensive Player of the Year Brodie Merrill and seven-time all-star Gavin Prout. The new personnel join forces with several key returnees including captain Chris McElroy and home-town product Jimmy Quinlan.
"We are really excited about getting training camp started. The NLL off-season is long so the players are itchy and I am really anxious to see what we've got here. I know it looks pretty good on paper but this weekend will be the first indicator of where we are at as a team. With 35 players in camp the first week I know it will be competitive and it needs to be. We want players to come in and earn spots on our 23-man roster." states GM/Head Coach Derek Keenan.
"I'm very excited about the upcoming season. This is truly the best roster the Rush has ever put together and this group is very capable of some big things," said Owner Bruce Urban. "We have fallen short as a team before and been unable to live up to the hopes of our loyal fans, but that is about to change. This team has all the right ingredients to be a winner."