A Word With Jeff Garlin; 2007 Team Ireland Asst. Coach

With the 2007 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships approaching soon (May 14 – 20 in Halifax, Nova Scotia) , I had the opportunity to get a little insight from one of the Teams competing.  Team Ireland is hoping to have some success at this years games amidst building their team for the future.  I had a chance to discuss the team and their goals with Assistant Head Coach, Jeff Garlin.

GM: Jeff, describe your Coaching role for Team Ireland.

JG: I am the Offence coach; Paul Stewart is the Head Coach & Bob McMahon is the Defence Coach. Also Dan Leidl will be joining us as an assistant coach – Dan played for New Jersey Storm in 2003.

GM: You were an assistant Coach with the Ajax-Pickering Rock. Where else have you coached other than for the Rock?

JG: I was an asst. coach with Scarborough Saints Jr. B in 1992 that won the Founders Cup. Unfortunately I had to resign before the playoffs due to work commitments. I have also coached girls – Toronto Stars and boy’s minor lacrosse with West Durham Rock and Whitby Warriors.

GM: You are working with Paul Stewart and Bob McMahon. Between the three of you there is a lot of lacrosse experience there. Have you worked together in the past?

JG: Yes, the three of us do bring a lot of experience. Paul is currently an asst. coach with the New York Titans and Bob is an Asst. coach with the Arizona Sting. I have never worked with Paul or Bob but look forward to this opportunity. Paul and Bob have worked together with the Team Ontario Bantams.

GM: You had a chance to go to Ireland with Paul recently to attend tryouts? How did that go?

JG: Try outs went very well. The core group of players were from Ireland and we also had over 15 players travel in from all over North America. We ran three sessions of tryouts – Friday night was fitness assessments and a light shoot around. Saturday morning we split the players up into offence, defence and concentrated more on individual skills. In the afternoon we split them into three teams and scrimmaged for three hours. This was followed by a team dinner so the players could spend some time together off the floor and get to know each other. We also had time to go sightseeing. Dublin is a very beautiful city and I am looking forward to going back next year.

GM: Please explain if you can the rules surrounding the requirements of your team members (i.e. do they all have to be of Irish descent)

JG: The rules governing eligibility requirements falls under the ILF ( International Lacrosse Federation). The prime criteria is to be a passport holder – born in Ireland, one parent born in Ireland or one grandparent born in Ireland. Marriage or being a resident of Ireland for more than 2 years are also criteria for eligibility. Coaches are exempt from these rules.

GM: What do you see being the biggest challenge for Team Ireland at these games?

JG: The biggest challenge for us is that most of our players have more of a field lacrosse background. We are holding a training camp for one week before the games at St. Francis Xavier University. This doesn’t seem like a lot of time but we will be on the floor twice a day and will spend a considerable amount of time going over game tapes with the players.

GM: You are slotted in Group A along with Canada, The U.S. and Australia. We all know anything can happen, but what would you consider a success for Ireland?

JG: Our main goal at the Worlds is to beat Australia. That would move us into the quarter finals against either England, Scotland or the Czech Republic. These are three teams we have the possibility of beating and this would move us into the semi finals. That would be a huge success for us at the 2007 Worlds. Since this is really a 4 year building plan for us I think our success won’t be measured until the results of the 2011 Worlds.

GM: How do you see the varying game start times, as well as three games in three days, potentially affecting all players?

JG: I think conditioning will be the biggest factor. Our Strength and Conditioning Coach, John Cavanaugh has the players on a strict fitness schedule right now and will be monitoring them until May. Our goal is to be the best conditioned team at the games. I think with a night, afternoon and then morning game it should not effect us that much.

GM: Will you take the opportunity to catch other games in addition to your own?

JG: Definitely, scouting games is an essential part of coaching. My wife (Debbi) and kids (Brittany and Cameron) will be joining me in Halifax. They are all big fans of lacrosse and are looking forward to watching the likes of Grant, Prout and other NLL stars compete at the International level.

GM: I’m sure the viewers on the Blog would be interested in getting game reports / updates from you while you are there. Any chance of that?

JG: Sure and hopefully Marty will be down here to take some pictures (Jeff is referring to our photo man Marty Allinson).

GM: Thanks for your time and good luck with the team.

JG: Thank you


1 Comment

  1. Good luck to the Irish Team. Our Nova Scotia Provincial Junior Team is pretty good and if Ireland wants to work out with our guys when they get to Halifax we would be happy to arrange some fllor time to help get them warmed up. our guys are on average 19-20 years old and as juniors quick.

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