It doesn’t matter if it is Canada, USA, Germany, or France – the biggest goal for any laxer is making the national team. Lacrosse in Germany is small and unknown, but growing. On one hand you have to explain your equipment in public transportation, on the other hand there is a great and close lacrosse community all over Germany. The Men’s national team started to compete internationally in 1994 at the World Games in England. From there, it was a steep road up to the first Championship title at the European Championship in 2001 and the first competition at the World Games in the blue division against USA and Canada in 2010. This journey now continues with the European Championship in Amsterdam in June and the World Games 2014 in Denver.
Two open camps in fall and one invitational in February were already held to determine the 28 players to make the practice camp in Aachen over Easter. 4.5 days, 9 long practice sessions, and a lot of chalk talks with the full coaching staff led by Jack Kaley and the assistant coaches Chris Bergeson and Rich Donovan. Hustle, hustle, and hustle were the main components to determine the final roster of 23 players for the Championship. The squad featured a lot of experienced players from the past World Games as well as young guns to develop Lacrosse in Germany further.
The roster is the youngest for a national team in Germany ever and features only two American players. Practice camps can be pretty intense – especially when you follow Coach Kaley’s NYIT Championship proven key factors: winning every groundball, a vicious zone D, and an up-tempo offense. After the camp a 23 player roster plus 5 alternates were announced. The road to Amsterdam now continues with hours in the gym, at the wall, and in the running shoes. The next big step is the Berlin Open tournament in Berlin on the 8th of June and then straight on to the opening game against the Netherlands on the 20th of June.
Matthias Rau, born and raised in Germany had never heard of Lacrosse until he did a year abroad at Woodberry Forest School in Virginia back in 04/05. He started to play with their second team and lost every game but one, and stuck with it and continued to play Lacrosse in Germany on a club team for his hometown Stuttgart. He eventually made the roster for the national team at the U21 World Games in Vancouver back in ’08 and the Men’s national team at the World Games 2010 in Manchester. He was foolish enough to start working in consulting right after college and now squeezes in morning runs in preparation for the European Championship in Amsterdam end of June and will cover Team Germany’s Road to Amsterdam.