Oakville, ON – The battle for the final few spots on the offensive side of the ball will reach a fever pitch this weekend as the Rock travel to Montreal to face the defending NLL champion Rochester Knighthawks on Sunday at 2pm at the Bell Centre.
“Guys are getting more familiar with each other,” said Rock assistant coach Blaine Manning after Tuesday’s training camp session at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre. “Some guys have taken steps in camp and are becoming closer to being a part of this team and have separated themselves which is pretty exciting for us. It is only practice, but on Sunday in a game they will have a chance to prove themselves.”
Figuring out the right fit for an offence that already includes Rob Hellyer and Kasey Beirnes among the right handed forwards will be the challenge for the coaches.
“We need a player that can think the game and is smart,” explained Manning. “He needs to understand how we want to play offence. You can work as hard as you want but it doesn’t matter if you’re not doing the right things at the right time. It’s abut doing the little things and attention to detail.”
Mike Burke, signed as a free agent, scored twice in Saturday’s preseason loss to the Calgary Roughnecks and has impressed so far in camp.
“The scoring helps,” said Manning of Burke’s contributions in camp. “He has to do some of the little things a bit better but he’s in the mix. He’s pretty talented and can put the ball in the net.”
As the preseason game in Montreal approaches, the Rock released forwards Dylan Webster and Keegan Bal following Tuesday’s training camp session.
Remaining forwards in camp (11): Kasey Beirnes, Brandon Benn, Mike Burke, Rob Hellyer, Brady Heseltine, Brett Hickey, Stephan Leblanc, Jordan Robertson, Kevin Ross, Josh Sanderson, Shawn Williams.
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