Bath Host Youth matches in Radstock
November 19th 2017
Bath LC have been providing Lacrosse in various schools across the region since 1986 and over the years the scheme has been very hit and miss. Developed home grown talent to play for the club is a costly and time-consuming process, however when it is successful it can be extremely rewarding.
The evidence is there to see, from the Eighties, Sam White, now a permanent first team choice and a veteran of the club, however very little from the 90’s as players just didn’t hang around.
A more successful period in the “noughties” saw a good group of players come through the system, and they are the mainstay of the current club playing strength – Club captain Luke Wilmot, Matt and Sam King, Ross Graham, Mark Lane, Neil Anthony, Mike Carey and Lloyd Butler. Plus, other clubs and universities have benefited from Bath’s work with youngsters – Ed Perry at Brighton LC, Joe Nicholson at Epsom LC, Jack Coward at Lincoln University and Will Smith at Oxford University to name a few.
In Recent years (The teens) the club is struggling to recruit and retain youngsters and 2016 saw the end of the full-time coach in schools, despite finding the Jacques (Yugo – now in Japan and Akito – now travelling) Ben King and Will Tilson – pressing for first team keeper status.
However, all is not gloom and doom, some programmes remain which are producing talent for the bath. Salisbury LC – a satellite club from Bath has a small dedicated band of youngsters, some of which are the right side of 16 and able to play Men’s field.
Radstock, where Bath have been running another Satellite club is producing some potentially good young players – ably run by Bath’s Women’s Captain Irene Moynihan
In Chippenham, the club is maintaining it’s links with one primary school, and amazingly this small programme looks like it might produce a new crop of talent for the club.
The regular Tuesday night session is seeing a rise in the number of young players joining the club, particularly the girls, where there are 5 under 16’s attending regularly.
One factor that has an impact on the game is the lack of competition, the Radstock Programme entered the National Schools for the Women and the club put an U14 team in the Holder Trophy in London, but that is the limit of viable games so far. So, it was with some great excitement for the Youth programme that Portsmouth Pythons and some players from Guildford Gaters accepted an invite to play on Sunday the 19th November at Writhlington School.
Bath had a real mixed bag, from aged 10 to 17, so getting meaningful games was tricky, and had to be well managed.
As Portsmouth were mainly U16 and the Gators U17, the coaches decided to run three 30-minute games to cater for the range of ages.
Game 1 was 15 to 17-year olds – 9 a side
Game 2 was 10 – 14-year olds 10 a side
Game 3 was all in – mixed age – minimum contact, managed by the referee and coaches
Nobody was keeping score, everybody got to play and, by the smiling but tired faces, everybody enjoyed the day.
A few of the coaches stepped in to the games to help with stability and numbers, Irene Moynihan in goal for the Greens and Both Lukes (Wilmot and Wylie) on the field for the two sides – this insured the younger players would get some passes and ball time.
The day produced some great passing Lacrosse by all the players and some good goals. Bath also fielded two Y6 girls, fully kitted up and ready to play (probably more so than the boys). The parents on the side-lines certainly had their eyes opened to the great game of Lacrosse and hopefully will encourage their youngsters to do more.
A great day for all, helped by the weather, all in good humour and not a cross word to be heard.