December 3, 2012 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Philadelphia Wings
The Philadelphia Wings, of the National Lacrosse League (NLL), kicked off the 2013 season this past weekend with the opening of training camp at Bucksmont Indoor Sports Center in Hatfield, PA. The coaching staff invited 36 players; 28 runners and eight goalies, to participate in this year's camp. Of those 36 players, 23 will receive roster spots with an additional three to be retained as practice players.
This season's training camp was preceded by a rookie and free agent camp on November 17. Fourteen players were invited to take part in the official training camp and were vying for about six available spots to this year's roster.
"We met with each of the 14 free agents and rookies, individually and discussed camp and the opportunity they had here," said Wings Head Coach and General Manager Johnny Mouradian. "After the meetings, you could tell those players listened and really got after it. There was a lot of intensity and these players showed a lot of heart."
Of the players invited as free agents, Ethan Farrell, a former Division III All-American at Lynchburg University turned some heads with his offensive prowess and ability to find the net.
Rookie draft picks, Mike Manley and C.J. Costabile, both former Duke Blue Devils, showed signs they could join the team as key contributors for the upcoming season. As collegiate players only a few months ago, their progress adjusting to the indoor game was noted by many, including Wings Captain Brodie Merrill.
"It always takes some time for college players to make that adjustment, but both those guys [Manley and Costabile] have shown signs that they are ready to make a quick transition to the indoor game," Merrill commented.
Merrill and defender Brett Manney showed their veteran leadership, by taking time to talk and instruct players on both sides of the field. But neither Merrill, Manney, nor any of the other veterans on the Wings took training camp lightly, and each showed up fit and ready to compete for a record seventh NLL Championship in 2013.
"We're ready; we know what our goals are," Merrill said. "We got a great start here at camp and we're ready to take it to that next step."
Fans that attended the weekend's open practices were impressed with the team's intensity, a sentiment echoed by coach Mouradian.
"Everyone here wants to be here, they want to be a part of the Wings organization and they're focused on that. Guys were out there scooping up loose balls, getting physical and that's what we like to see," said the Wings second-year head coach.
The team's next step will be two exhibition games in Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (TRAC) in Oakville, Ontario on Friday, December 21 at 7 p.m. against the Buffalo Bandits and Saturday, December 22 also at 7 p.m. against host, Toronto Rock.
The Philadelphia Wings will open up the 2013 season at home against the Buffalo Bandits at Wells Fargo Center, on Friday, January 11 at 7:00 p.m.
Call 215-389-WING (9464) or visit WingsLAX.com to order Season Tickets for the upcoming 2012 Philadelphia Wings season.