CALGARY, AB — Defenseman Patrick O’Meara cracked the Calgary Roughnecks practice roster after a strong training camp in 2014.

Now he’s hoping to take it a step further and crack the active roster with a strong training camp in 2015.

“I’m going to come into camp in great shape this year,” assured O’Meara. “I’m not going to go out there and get [out-run]. Nobody’s going to beat me based on me not being ready for lacrosse. I’ll be training quite a bit. I’ll be coaching as well to help keep the stick in my hand.

“Hopefully if I do get a shot to play, I’ll be able to operate in there like it’s nothing.”

With a full year on the practice roster under his belt, the 25-year-old was able to hone his game alongside some of the best lacrosse players in the world. O’Meara noted that squaring off against elite offensive players like Curtis Dickson, Dane Dobbie and Shawn Evans has only made him better.

That and working alongside the veteran Roughnecks defensemen, he was able to learn quite a bit.

“Watching guys like — we’ve got such a good defensive squad out there — Curtis Manning, Mike Carnegie, and those guys… there are certain things they do to stop those good players and you pick up on the little tactics,” said O’Meara. “I think it will help my development as a lacrosse player to help in the defensive end.”

Even though he spent a year learning with the Roughnecks, he wasn’t able to get any game action.

O’Meara didn’t see any game action with the Riggers last season but his role this summer as a key member with the Rockyview Knights of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League was an important step in his development.

“Not being able to play all winter — just practicing — you pick up on certain things but getting into some real games and getting some competition changes things,” explained O’Meara. “I think just having my stick in my hands and playing some meaningful lacrosse is definitely going to help.

“We didn’t get to play the entire summer, but the playoffs got pretty intense — we were playing against some pretty good teams in Alberta. Taking what I learned in the winter and turning it into positive experiences in the summer is something that helped me.”

Free agent departures this summer have left some roster spots open and O’Meara is hoping to capitalize.

“There’s some open spots that may not have been open last year,” noted O’Meara. “I live out here in Calgary now and I didn’t want to go anywhere else – this is definitely the squad. I think putting in a year with the guys, learning the systems, and learning different tendencies will help me, hopefully, get some shots next year.”

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