Mid-Season Report 2015/16
It took nearly three years of hard effort to get lacrosse up and running in Milton Keynes. It was only 12 months ago that sometimes only 2 or 3 players attended training sessions. Some weeks we’d see 10 or more players, other weeks only a few. It was frustrating but I knew Milton Keynes was in the right location for a lacrosse club.
Things changed at the beginning of 2015 when 4 or 5 new players came to training, loved it, and have never looked back. We played the annual SEMLA 6-a-side tournament in April with a full legit Milton Keynes team (no players from other clubs adding to our numbers). Our free summer evening sessions were well attended, by both men and women. It was time to take the plunge and enter the English Southern League (SEMLA) with a men’s team.
The men’s season runs from October to April. We promoted lacrosse as best we could across Milton Keynes over the summer to attract graduates moving to the area after playing at university. Although men’s lacrosse is a 10-a-side game, you need 13-16 players available per game and overall club numbers of 20+ to fulfil every game in a season. Players will get injured, go on holiday, have weddings to attend, a wife or girlfriend to appease etc. so as we approached the opening game of the season I was still hoping that 4 or 5 more players would make contact.
The short term club objective was to just fulfil each game before Christmas with 10+ players, no matter if we won or lost all our games. Well, we’ve smashed it.
Here’s the mid-season SEMLA East Division 3 league game.
Milton Keynes is sitting pretty at the top, unbeaten after 7 games. The reality is that some games were conceded by the opposition, but when that happened we arranged friendly games against teams from the division above. We held our own against Reading 2’s for much of the game but lost 8-4 in the end. We played a partial Spencer 3’s team (who are currently unbeaten in East 2) and lost 13-8. Those two friendlies gave everyone more confidence and knowledge to take into competitive games.
However the most pleasing thing about our first competitive half season is the club spirit. Everyone is keen to play, keen to learn lacrosse, and keen to have a good time.
New players, both complete beginners and those who have players before, are very welcome to join us after Christmas. We train on Tuesday evenings (8:00-9:30pm) at Stantonbury. League games are Saturday afternoons.
Development for our women’s team has not gone as well as with the men. The big plus was three MK novice players playing in the Kiddle Cup. However attendance at training by our women players has been low. We know the Tuesday training times don’t suit a few of our women players, but trying to find a floodlit venue that’s not booked for (bloody) football is almost impossible in Milton Keynes. We are so lucky to be able to use Stantonbury for both training and games. We will continue to run occasional Sunday afternoon sessions on the grass playing field in the middle of Shenley Brook End next year (see the club calendar for future dates) . We will organise more women’s friendly games during 2016 with the aim of building a core squad so that they can enter the South East women’s league for the 2016/17 season.