The Nanaimo Timbermen junior A lacrosse team wants to be hard-working and hard to play against.
That’s the message that’s going to be coming from behind the bench, now that Brad Dougan has been named the team’s new coach. The B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League club made the announcement Thursday, three days after revealing the firing of Dale Nicks and his staff.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it. Head coaching’s a big job and I’m ready for the challenge and whatever it brings,” Dougan said. “I want to put my heart and soul into this team and get this thing turned around.”
Dougan has been assistant coach of the Nanaimo Timbermen senior A club for two and a half seasons and has also been head coach of the Timbermen intermediate A team.
He said he knew after last summer that Timbermen management wasn’t happy with how the seasons had gone for the senior A and junior A teams. So this fall, Dougan sought to find out where he stood, and indicated interest in coaching the juniors. It put him at the top of the list when the club decided to make a change.
“He’s going to be able to hold the players a lot more accountable both to themselves and each other,” said Jon Nicholson, general manager of the junior A Timbermen. “He’s really big on instilling hard work into the players and I think he’ll be able to develop a really good work ethic within the team.”
As a player, Dougan had a reputation as a steady defender. He played his junior A boxla with the Victoria Shamrocks, then went on to play five seasons with the senior A Timbermen.
“So there’s not going to be any real systems that he hasn’t seen, both defensively and offensively…” Nicholson said. “He’s a defensive guy, but he’s willing to take some risks and take some chances on the other end of the floor as well. I think that’s going to be a good fit for our club.”
Dougan said he likes the team’s core group of players, many of whom he coached in intermediate.
“I think they need to work harder, do the little things better,” he said. “There’s tons of stick skill on that team, that’s for sure.”
He will try to get the players together and get them working out well in advance of training camp, so they will be fit and able to play at the fast pace that’s required in the BCJALL. He and Nicholson mentioned that they’ve got a great goalie in Peter Dubenski, so it makes sense to try to build from the back end out.
It will be a process, but not an impossible one. Even though the T-men had an ugly 3-17-1 record in 2012, Dougan mentioned that the team was missing a lot of manpower all season long so he thinks they’re better than that record suggests.
He knows what it takes to make it to the Minto Cup, and it continues to inspire him.
“I never won it. It’s been a bitter taste in my mouth ever since,” Dougan said. “So if I can be behind the bench to get to a national championship again, that’s my goal.”