The Prague Diaries: Week 2
Sat May 21: A tough day at the office
Our first game of the Championships proved to be a tough one, going down 20 - 7 to England. It did not help that we allowed England a 10 - 0 jump before the half. We fought hard (as Australian's tend to do) and made sure nothing come easy for the English, hitting when we could and making sure they earnt everything
Jeff Joy played well with 2 goals, his post goal celebrations were somewhat reminiscent of his cousin Brendan Fevola.
Post match we attended the opening ceromony, very impressive line up of players. Brett Bucktooth (Iroquois Nationals), Jeff Zywicki, John Grant Jnr (Canada), Casey Powell (USA) and last but not least Anthony 'brought to you by PC Electrical' Munro (Australia).
As with every opening ceremony the Iroquois Nationals treated the crowd to a traditional dance, for those who do not know the Iroquois Nationals (North American Indians) are the creators of lacrosse. Lacrosse has a very strong and rich history, compulsory research for any lacrosse player.
The Iroquois are sponsored by Nike and are playing with gold coated sticks, look amazing.
We have a rest day tomorrow, (being Sunday) good opportunity to get the washing down, relax and watch some lacrosse.
Next game Canada, will be a tough one.
Fri May 20: Been a little busy
We have literally been on the road playing practice games since Wednesday, so I have Jake Egan writing today's blog.
The three big pre-tournament hit-outs are all done and dusted. We lost the first two (vs. England & Ireland)- but we learnt; we tied against the Slovaks today 7 - 7 out at sunny Radotin. The boys are now looking forward to the big opener tomorrow at 4pm local time against Team England.
Head Coach Ric Benedierks had the tough job tonight of cutting down the team to the final 23 players, a daunting task considering the quality of player, character, and dedication that's been shown from all the Aussie boys. A big shout out goes out to Jerome Kirkwood, Dwayne Edwards, & Frank 'The Tank' Nicholas who were the unfortunate three to have to sit the week out. All three players have been amazing contributors pre-tournament, and they will have the ongoing support and friendship of their Aussie teammates.
As I said it's the night before the big game, local time here is around 11pm and as I pace up and down the hallways of our hotel, I find myself stumbling upon people's pre-game rituals. Darren Nicholas has his step ladders out in the hallways and is blaring heavy metal music - much to the delight of the other hotel stayers no doubt. Jeff Joy is staring intently into his mirror as he brushes his hair - 100 brushes on each side I'm told - evidently half of the time Ric Benedierks spends on his moustache. Ryan Stone is polishing his removable front tooth in anticipation of the battle tomorrow, and Keith Nyberg has been mysteriously locked in his bathroom for the last couple of hours. Whatever the ritual, the boys are ready to rumble.
I'll be back with an update after tomorrow night's game, all the best from Prague - Team Australia.
Thu May 19th: Model preparation for Slovakia
We headed to Purdebice to play team Ireland which is a 1 hour bus ride out of Prague. We booked into the Harmony Hotel (1 star), which was interesting to say the least, apparently one can book it by the minute if they wish. Steve Oosterhof (Sport Scientist) was really looking forward to the trip to the country, however, he left feeling a little depressed.
However, the team was a little happy when they got home to find that the Iris hotel was hosting a modelling competition. Unfortunately they were not taking male entrants!
Wed May 18: A day of learning
So, we had our first hit out today with a practice game against England at Radotin, not a bad first run, although we did go down 16 - 11. Given England jumped us 7 goals in the first quarter and a half; we did very well to peg it back scoring 7 in the second quarter. I guess nerves always take a quarter or so to get out of the system.
As promised, we have a guest blogger today, Dylan MacDougal, Dylan will not be known to many people in Australia as he lives in Canada and grew up playing Box Lacrosse in Toronto. Dylan was a member of the 2007 Australian Team, however, had to sit out as he broke his hand.
"Hey, Dylan here. I'm Canadian. I am very fortunate that my grandfather was born in Sydney, so I am able to play for this team. Like Tim said I was on the 2007 team, but broke my hand two days before the tournament, so I wasn't able to play, which was a downer. I've been chomping at the bit for the last four years to get back to this team!"
"This group of Aussies are very athletic and talented, so I am excited to get this tournament underway. I have never been to Australia, but I aspire to do so when I have finished university, either just to travel, or to play some lax. I have been told that it is a prerequisite to learn the rules of Aussie football before I come over. So I'll get on that soon. Tim told me about the ashes, and was expecting me to be sad, but I had no idea what he was talking about, so he filled me in, and I feel for you Aussies. Anyways, it's rounding midnight and I have to rest up for our game against the Irish tomorrow. I'm out. Peace."