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No Talk Of Rebuilding At 'Necks Camp

12/25/2010, 5:53pm EST
By National Lacrosse League

New faces on Calgary roster look to gel quickly with returning vets

With 11 new faces on the 23-man roster, the Roughnecks know that people are talking about the team being in a "re-build" year, but the players and coaches will have none of that talk in their training camp. NLL.com Roughnecks beat writer Bryce Forbes reports from the Roughnecks camp on how the new and returning players are coming together.


"When superstars leave, it's time for other guys to step up", said Roughnecks captain Andrew McBride.

With 11 new faces on the 23-man roster, the Roughnecks know that people are talking about the team being in a "re-build" year, but the players and coaches will have none of that talk in their training camp. NLL.com Roughnecks beat writer Bryce Forbes reports from the Roughnecks camp on how the new and returning players are coming together.

Calgary Roughnecks Training Camp Report
By Bryce Forbes for NLL.com

Rebuilding is not a term the Calgary Roughnecks want to be labeled with.

After trading away future Hall-of-Famers Tracey Kelusky and Josh Sanderson over the off-season, some fans have used that word to describe the Riggers.

But for the players, it's still all about the Champion's Cup.

"We are in training camp talking about a championship. We are not talking about playoffs," said newcomer transition Geoff Snider. "We aren't looking past our opponents by any means, we are talking about Buffalo today. But the one thing that remains constant is that we are always talking about the championship."

Snider was one of the many new faces at the Roughnecks training camp, which concluded this past Sunday in Airdrie, Alberta. The hometown boy was brought in to replace fellow defender Jeff Moleski who was traded to the Washington Stealth.

In fact, of the 23 player named to the final roster on Thursday, 11 did not suit up for the Roughnecks last season.

On the offensive side, younger players were brought into replace the departed Sanderson, Kelusky and Craig Conn. This included Daryl Veltman, Cory Conway, and first round draft choice Curtis Dickson.

"They are like sponges and really want to learn. They are mature beyond their years and they have shown it in camp," said head coach Dave Pym. "There is no reason why we can't do some damage this year despite the fact that we aren't getting any respect. Guys are looking at us as a team that is rebuilding and hopefully we can prove them wrong."

Coming from the University of Delaware, Dickson led the entire NCAA in goals (62) and points (75) in 2010.

"As far as I'm concerned, he is one of the best guys coming into the league as a rookie. The kid has got it all and is turning heads," said Pym.

Defender Andrew McBride, who was recently named the Roughnecks captain, said the new guys are forcing a different tempo in training camp.

"Obviously, it's a change of scenery for some guys but with that comes fresh guys who are hungry for positions," said McBride. "When superstars leave, it's time for other guys to step up."

"We drafted really well and so it's exciting to see them here, pushing the pace and working hard," he continued. "Obviously, it's going to be a challenge for them at the start but they are very capable of stepping in and they have shown they belong and worthy of the high draft spot."

However, when there are new faces in the locker room, chemistry can become a problem. Luckily for the Roughnecks, they say it won't be a setback.

"The good thing about the NLL is that we are good guys; we like to have fun, we get together and when everyone has the same common goal, it's pretty easy to bond right away," said McBride.

Also traded from last year's team included goalkeeper Matt King and transition Devan Wray. Defender Curtis Manning is taking the year off for medical school and two-way player Rob Van Beek is training to become a firefighter. Also, Bob McMahon was brought as a defensive assistant coach, a move that is popular among players.

"He comes with a lot of experience, he's been around lacrosse a long time and he has done a lot for us already from the technical side," said McBride. "To have a guy with a great lacrosse mind like Bob McMahon, it's a huge addition for the squad."

The Roughnecks season starts off on January 8 when Kelusky and his new team, the Buffalo Bandits, come to town.

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