I first picked up a lacrosse stick when I was 10, after my older brother Jason started playing in the then newly formed junior programme at Wilmslow Lacrosse Club. Kitted out in a hand-me-down oversized Bacharach, leather sausage gloves and wielding a Brine Sam (first ever released plastic head) complete with a solid wooden shaft; I participated in an U16’s training session and made an older boy cry when I slashed his unprotected elbow with my wooden sabre. At that moment I figured that lacrosse was the sport for me, and almost 25 years later I’ll be representing Wales in Denver which will be the pinnacle of my lacrosse career.
Supported by my parents Jan and Clive (team managers) and my brother Jason (later my coach), I rose through the Wilmslow junior ranks alongside some of the best players to have ever been developed by the club. Never seen without a stick in my hands or lacrosse emblazoned apparel, I played and trained whenever I could and had the opportunity to be coached by brilliant LDO’s at Wilmslow (most notably Iroquois captain Scott Burnham) and amazing players at training camps (including the Gait brothers, Joe Gold, and Mark Millon).
After an unbeaten junior club tour to Baltimore, I represented England in 1998 at the U19’s World Championships in Australia (Wales didn’t even have an U19’s back then) and in 2000 at the men’s European Championships, and have since gone on to captain my club and county at all levels; winning all available domestic and European club honours along the way.
My Welsh involvement actually began in 1994 when I played for “Wales” in a junior festival at the 1994 World Championships. Some 14 years later I came out of the international wilderness to play for Wales and represent my family’s heritage in the 2008 European Championships in Finland and again in the 2010 World Championships in my home town of Manchester. Despite all of my experience in the game, being a part of Wales has been the ultimate highlight of my lacrosse career, both on an off the field, and there is nothing like that big tournament feel.
Looking forward to one last lacrosse challenge at international level, I’m now intent on physically and mentally preparing myself as best as possible to compete against the world’s elite and improve Wales’ ranking of 11th on the biggest stage possible.