Losing can be a learning experience and a motivating factor and the Nanaimo Timbermen hope it’s both those things.
Senior A T-men coach Kaleb Toth has been seeing a determined bunch of players at training camp this spring.
“I think guys got pissed off at being last and they want to do something about it,” he said.
Toth said guys reported to camp in shape and ready to run.
“A lot of running,” said Cody Bremner, T-men forward. “We’re getting up and down the floor and getting back into shape and working on our sticks…
“These are the best practices we’ve had since I’ve been here. Everyone’s really buying in and working hard every practice so it’s good to see.”
The coach said it’s easy for guys to work on their shot during the off-season, but it can take some time to get the timing back with passing and catching on the run and in traffic. The team will work more intensively on its systems between now and the start of the Western Lacrosse Association season May 22.
“These next few practices are real key for us,” Toth said. “The players are learning lots and they’re getting better and they’re determined. The work ethic is high, guys are battling hard and they’re fighting for jobs.”
One area of the floor to watch will be on the right side of the offence. Nanaimo’s off-season trade for Brett Hickey won’t pan out, as the sniper got a job in Ontario with the police force.
“I can’t fault a guy for getting a career job. It’s a great thing for him,” Toth said. “We are disappointed he couldn’t come out, he would have definitely helped.”
Toth said it opens up a spot for someone to earn the floor time Hickey would have had.
“We’ve got some veterans and some rookies, so it’s up to someone who wants to step up and to be that guy… It’s a lucky break like that that might make a player.”
On defence, new assistant coach Dave Bremner is running the back door and Toth said the D corps is building trust and anticipation on the floor.
Players are continuing to report to camp and the Timbermen have taken note that the WLA season is fast approaching.
“You can feel it,” Cody Bremner said. “These last couple practices, the intensity’s gotten a little higher and guys are excited. We’re looking forward to it.”
GAME ON … The T-men visit the Victoria Shamrocks on May 22. Nanaimo’s home opener will be May 24 against the Shamrocks.