World Juniors Proven Development Path for Australia

by CLL

Australia Box Lacrosse first competed at the IIJL World Junior Lacrosse Championship (WJLC) in 2019, with some player travelling over 18,000 km to reach Mississauga, Ontario for the week long event. 

One month later the 2019 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championship, now known as the World Lacrosse Box Championships, took place in Langley, BC. That was the last time that a Senior Australia squad competed in a box championship. Since then Australia Box Lacrosse, an independent organization dedicated the the growth of box lacrosse in Australia, has competed in three (3) World Juniors and two (2) IIJL Commonwealth Cups. 

With the 2024 World Lacrosse Box Championships set to take place September 20-29 in Utica, NY, Lacrosse Australia, the national governing body, has announced their 35 players heading into next month's Australian National Championship. From the 35 players named, seven (7) have competed with Australia Box Lacrosse having already gained valuable experience against current and future NLL players on Canadian, American, and Haudenosaunee rosters at the World Juniors. 

The Australian World Junior Alumni include; Jasper Hanna-Roberts (2019), Hamish Mathwin (2019), Tyler Reynolds (2019), Jack Stokes (2019), James Suffolk (2022, 2023), and Lucas Deshon (2022, 2023).

Additionally, Goaltender Colin Jeffrey (2019) is a duel-citizen from Victoria, BC, who backstopped Australia at the 2019 IIJl World Junior Lacrosse Championship. The World Juniors helped Australia identify Canadian players who hold Australian passports and get them involved earlier in the process creating more cohesive rosters and relationships.

Additionally, coaches have been able to sharpen their skills at the World Juniors before heading back to the World Box Lacrosse Championship. While World Junior Assistant Coach Dan Hall (2023) is still playing, World Junior Head Coach Wade Hammond (2023) has been named Assistant Coach for Lacrosse Australia at the 2024 World Lacrosse Box Championships. 

While the focus has been on the players and coaches who have made the 35 man list this time around, the next World Lacrosse Box Championship will include even more young Australian talent that have completed at the IIJL World Junior Lacrosse Championship and gained real experience with Australian Box Lacrosse.

The Canadian Lacrosse League Canada Development Team (CANDT) will travel to Australia from February 13-24, 2024 to complete in the 2024 IIJL Commonwealth Cup in Altona, VIC, minutes outside of the city of Melbourne. All eight (8) games will be streamed live on the Victoria Box Lacrosse Facebook Page.