Welcome to the first in a series of interviews with Williamstown Lacrosse Club members. We will get to know some of the players, coaches, volunteers and characters of the club and find out why Willy Lacrosse is an important part of their lives.
First up is club face off player Sean Clarke, who was recently selected in the Australian Under 19 Team.
How did you come to start playing lacrosse at Williamstown?
My mate Gil talked me into coming down and trying it out when I was in grade 6 and my little brother had played the year before I started so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
Who was your first Williamstown coach and what do you remember most about him?
It was Frogger (Matthew Price) in my first year of U12’s, my best memories of him that year was when he used to give out stickers to us after games for scoring sick goals and completing the wall ball challenges at training.
What other sports have you played?
I played Australian Rules Football until I was 14 and I played Cricket until the end of high school.
What has been your lacrosse career highlight so far?
Would easily have to be winning the State League flag last year.
What are your short term and long term goals in lacrosse?
Short term goals are to keep training hard these next few months to put myself in a position to compete with the best players in the world when the U19’s travel to Coquitlam in July for the Worlds and to put in another good effort in State League this year. Long term I’m not too sure about yet, being able to have a stint in College would be pretty cool and to represent Australia in the Seniors to would be an awesome experience too. If I’m still playing for WLC until I’m half Smeller’s age i’ll be a happy man.
What does it mean to you to be representing Australia at the Under 19 World Games in 2016?
I’m really excited and honoured to have the opportunity to play in the U19’s, I can’t wait to get to Canada and have a crack. I have to really thank my family for their support and everyone along the way whose has given their time to teach me Lacrosse.
You’ve been working with Face Off specialist coach Matt Schomburg, what has that experience been like?
Schommy has changed the way I looked at the the Face Off position, since I first met him about a year ago my technique has changed and improved a heap and I’ve been lucky enough to practice with some of his kids on Long Island NY who are incredible face off men. That experience showed me how much further I have to improve to even compete with the top Face Off players. Schommy’s brutally honest and passionate approach to coaching has really helped motivate me to get out there every day and practice.
How are you finding the training process, especially the physical preparation?
It’s pretty full on, I haven’t trained this hard for anything before. I’m either running or at the gym every day on top of doing my skill work daily plus lacrosse practices too. Half the battle is eating well and getting a good night’s sleep to get me ready for the next day, I’m curious to see how I will fair once it comes to the World Championships.
How are you handling the demands on your time between national team training, club training, work and study?
Since the trials started for the U19’s my time management has improved tremendously which I am pretty happy about. I’m able to get through my daily training with work and have some time left over to hang out with friends, although it does mean usually staying in Saturday which can be hard sometimes. I didn’t study last year so that helped free up time for Lacrosse.
Outside of lacrosse, what are your academic and career goals?
My academic goals are to complete my university course I am starting this year which is Accountancy, and to get a job out of uni, hopefully i’ll get to travel a bit with work too.
What does being a player and member of Williamstown LC mean to you?
It’s definitely the best club to be a part of for sure! I’m extremely grateful to be a part of club that is so much fun on and off the field. It has one been the best experiences of my life to be a part of the Williamstown Lacrosse Club and to have so many guys that have played the game at a high level to help teach the younger generations through to becoming great players themselves is something really special.