CALGARY, AB — The 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship opens on September 18th.
For Roughneck Jeff Shattler, this will be a special tournament.
Not only is he representing his nation when he suits up for the Iroquois National team, but he gets to play on the Onondaga Nation.
“On its own, playing for team Iroquois is a huge responsibility,” Shattler said. “It’s an awesome feeling to go out there and play not only for Canada or the States. I know all of us can play for all three, but playing for our Nation is a great opportunity and I’m looking forward to making them proud.”
Shatter was excited to get to Syracuse, NY to begin working with his teammates and preparing for the tournament.
Despite the pressure on Team Iroquois to perform, this will be an incredible opportunity for Shattler and his teammates.
“Definitely looking forward to it,” admitted Shattler. “Raising the flag and playing for the boys, it’ll be interesting. I know Canada and the USA and the rest of the world are really good teams. We are going to give it our all and see what happens.”
Even with the strong competition, Iroquois will not be a team to take lightly.
Shattler believes that they have the talent to challenge for the top spot.
“We have the team to do it,” Shattler said. “We have the firepower up front. I know Canada and the USA have a lot of firepower. I think it will come down to a game of chances and if we get the opportunity, obviously we are going for gold. That would be huge for us.”
Even with some of his Roughnecks teammates taking part in the tournament – Curtis Dickson and Shawn Evans with Team Canada, Tyson Roe with Team England, Mike Poulin with Team Czech Republic, and Andrew McBride with Team Ireland – Shattler is not concerned.
There are no friends once you are on the floor.
“It doesn’t make it any different,” Shattler remarked. “Once you’re on the floor, even if you’re playing against your closest friends, you’re playing for your team and they are playing for theirs and you have to give it everything you’ve got. In the sport of lacrosse, when you are on the floor, there are no friends out there. You’re playing for your nation.”
While Team Iroquois will have to face powerhouses Team Canada and Team USA in the tournament, they also get to face some less heralded teams.
Shatter admitted that he was excited to see the growth from countries from all over the world. He will get to see the improvements of Team England and Team Czech Republic up close in the round-robin.
“Every year, every country has gotten so much better. It’s unbelievable how much the game of box lacrosse has grown,” Shattler said. “This is a great opportunity for the world to see how the box game has grown. It’s incredible – even Japan and China. To see the way they’ve grown, it’ll be a great opportunity for the world to see what the box game means to each country.”