(WILC2015.COM) When Team Finland makes their debut at the 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships at Onondaga Nation and Syracuse, a pair of familiar faces to the indoor lacrosse community will be behind the bench.
Canadian Devan Wray is the new head coach of Team Finland Indoor Lacrosse, while Tracey Keluskey joins Wray as an assistant coach in the Finns debut. Wray, the former assistant coach of Edmonton Rush, thinks that the Finns will have a good chance to surprise people in the Word Indoor Lacrosse Championships next year.
“Devan is a perfect fit for us,” said Matti Tähkäpää, the Chairman of the Finnish Lacrosse Association. “He is a man of action who has a solid background in field lacrosse as well. Finland has so far focused more on field, so we were trying to find a coach who knows the both games and can make the transfer from the turf to the rink possible.”
Wray and Keluskey share a key role in leading the Finns to the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships as well as in developing the game in Finland in the future.
“We hope that with the help of Devan and Tracey we can take Finnish Box Lacrosse to the next level,” added Tähkäpää. “The national team is our crown jewel, but we are determined to channel Devan’s knowhow also to the club teams at the men and junior level.
”Finland’s debut on the World Indoor stage is stongly anticipated by the entire box lacrosse community. Lacrosse Club Turku Titans, which is celebrating its 10th year anniversary this summer, will be making their 7th appearance in the prestigious Aleš Hřebeský Memorial tournament in Czech Republic. From 2009 through 2013, the club fiinished from 12th to 16th place in the standings, but in 2014, Turku jumped to 8th place.
“The goal for me is to go to the World Championships and surprise people,” commented Wray, who makes his head coaching debut on the world stage. “It’s our first trip to the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships so I don’t think people will be expecting big things from us, but I want to go out and compete at a high level.
”The Titans are back-to-back champions in the Finnish box league, and this young and talented team is eager to succeed again at the AHM. Wray and Keluskey will also be on hand from April 18-20, when Team Finland competes in three exhibition matches against Czech Republic, Ireland and Israel, in FIL-regulation games at the European National Team Invitational.
“I think one of the biggest advantages we have is the training program that Finnish organizers have put together,” added Wray. “We are planning to get the team together several times prior to the World Championships which will allow our players to learn each others tendencies, learn the offensive and defensive systems together, and perhaps most importantly get to know one another on and off the floor.”
2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Website: http://wilc2015.com/
Finnish Lacrosse Association
About the Finnish Lacrosse Association
Lacrosse officially arrived in the summer of 2001, when Finland founded Suomen Lacrosseliitto Ry (Finnish Lacrosse Association). SLR was established to drive the development of the sport in Finland and manage international relations.
Women’s lacrosse officially began in Finland in 2002. Finland’s National Women’s Team attended the Women’s World Cup Championship for the first time in the summer of 2007 in Lahti, Finland.
About the FIL
The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) is the international governing body for men’s and women’s lacrosse. The FIL currently has 52 member nations and holds five World Championships (women’s and men’s field, women’s and men’s U19 field and men’s indoor.) The FIL is responsible for the governance and integrity of all forms of lacrosse and provides responsive and effective leadership to support the sports’ development throughout the world.