“Riggers” Look To Cordingley To Right The Ship

In our next visit with the NLL Coaches we move to Western Canada to meet with the new Head Coach of The Calgary Roughnecks, Troy Cordingley. Troy played in the NLL for nine years, before calling it quits in 2001, and beginning his journey behind the bench.

In Calgary, Cordingley takes over a team that ended in a 3 way tie for second place behind Colorado in the Western Division in 2007. He will be joined by former Toronto Rock Head Coach Terry Sanderson.

Calgary started 2007 going 4-1 and then went into a bit of a slump going 5-6 the rest of the regular season. The “Riggers” made the playoffs but lost their divisional semi-final game to Arizona, ending their season. But there is a lot of optimism going into 2008, with the addition of Steve Dietrich, and Curt Malawsky, and the re-signing of their top scorer, Lewis Ratcliffe.

As an aside, I think that they and Portland share the best looking team logo in the NLL (check out the next poll question coming soon).

Enjoy the read….

Troy Cordingley
GM: You are taking over a 2nd place team in Calgary. What will be your approach to the coaching the Roughnecks this season.

TC: Our approach this year will be to strive for consistency through hard work. The league is as strong as it has ever been, especially with Boston and Arizona taking a one year hiatus. Every team has made themselves a lot stronger with their dispersal picks which means you have to be prepared to play 60 minutes to win. We won’t be taking any short cuts in practice and we will stress accountibility to ourselves and our teammates.

GM: You have now had a couple of camp sessions. How do things look so far?

TC: The guys have come to camp with an amazing attitude and work ethic. They have done everyting we have asked them to do and more. We are trying to implement some new systems and the players have been very receptive and have really worked hard to understand what we are trying to accomplish. Having said that, we still have a lot to work on and improve, but overall we are excited at what we see right now.

GM: Describe the importance of re-signing Lewis Ratcliffe, and at the same time how you will deal with the loss of Jesse Phillips (work commitments).

TC: Obviously re-signing Lewis is huge for our team. I believe he is the best pure goal scorer in the league today. Anytime a player can score 50 or more goals in 16 regular season games is pretty amazing. The thing I like the most about Lewis is his work ethic and willingness to do whatever helps the team to succeed. He is in phenominal shape and he pushes his teammates to work as hard as he does. We expect him to be one of our offensive leaders again.

Losing Jesse for this year was unexpected. We will definitely miss his experience and hard nosed style on the floor and his leadership in the dressing room. However, we have brought in Kyle Couling from Buffalo and some young and aggressive defensive players itching to make their mark. Hopefully it fills the void of losing a great competitor in Jesse.

GM: Steve Dietrich and Curt Malawsky were key acquisitions. How do you them contributing this season?

TC: These two acquisitions were huge for us. Their leadership alone makes this team a lot better. Both have played in the league for a while and have a lot to offer on and off the floor. They are extremely good at what they bring to the team. “Chugger and “Mouse” are ultimate team players that expect themselves and their teammates to play at a high level every night.

GM: What will Calgary fans see in the 2008 Calgary team?

TC: The fans in Calgary will see a team that will leave everything we have on the floor. We will play hard, smart and stay disciplined at the same time. We are going to play an up tempo style of lacrosse.

GM: Are there any rookies, or players not as well known that Calgary fans should keep an eye on this season?

TC: A player that comes to my mind right away is Mike Carnegie. He is a defensive player that was on Buffalo’s practice squad last year. He continually improves defensively and is a very smart ball player. I have been fortunate enough to coach him already and I know the fans will like what he brings every game.

GM: Troy thanks and good luck this season.

TC: Thanks Gary!

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