November 28, 2015
TORONTO ROCK TRAINING CAMP IS UNDERWAY
Sanderson Signs One-Year Deal; Doyle Named Captain
Oakville, ON – The Toronto Rock began their training camp on Saturday afternoon at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville. By the numbers, this is the smallest Rock training camp in recent memory, which also translates into what should be some very interesting battles for the final few roster spots.
Head Coach John Lovell addressed the team prior to the troops hitting the floor for the start of the team’s first session. He made it quite clear from the outset that Colin Doyle will be the captain of the Toronto Rock in 2016. He also noted that Josh Sanderson was a great leader last season, especially in Colin’s absence and that the team really rallied around Sanderson in 2015.
“Colin Doyle is the captain of this team,” Lovell stated. “We wanted to make that clear from the beginning and put that to rest. Colin has done a lot of hard work in the off-season and he’s the right guy for this team.”
Rock Owner, President and GM Jamie Dawick also announced the signing of veteran forward Josh Sanderson to a one-year agreement, pending league approval.
The 38-year old future NLL Hall of Famer from Orangeville, Ontario will return for his 19th NLL season in 2016. Sanderson is coming off one of his most successful seasons in the point-production department; setting a new NLL assists record with 83 (along with Shawn Evans) and finishing with 102 points on the season.
“It’s nice to be back with this organization, I love playing here with friends and a bunch of great teammates. We’re going to try and finish the job this year. I feel fine, it just takes a little longer getting the body ready and making sure you’re ready to go. I felt fine out there today and hopefully I’ll get better every time out,” said Sanderson.
One guy who has seen a significant change in his outlook to training camp than one year ago is 50-goal scorer Brett Hickey. Last year, he was the new guy in town with limited NLL experience competing for a roster spot. This year, he comes into camp as one of the key components of the Rock’s offence.
“I’ve got a little more confidence coming into this season,” said the always-humble Hickey. “We don’t have a lot of guys coming to camp, so from day one we’ll be working on getting some chemistry going, which I think puts guys at ease.”
He also had some words of advice for some of the young players who are stepping into the very same shoes he wore a year ago, jumping on the floor for the first time with the Toronto Rock for training camp.
“Be confident, don’t think too much and play your game. Don’t try to do something that’s not a part of your game. Just play your role and do what makes you successful. We have a group of guys that are easy to play with,” explained Hickey.
Not participating in full contact on Saturday were Damon Edwards, Rob Hellyer, Kevin Ross and Scott Johnston. All are still recovering from previous injuries.
Toronto Rock training camp will continue on Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville. Next weekend, the Rock will travel to Ottawa to face the Saskatchewan Rush at TD Place in a rematch of last season’s Champion’s Cup final. Tickets for the game are available at capitaltickets.ca.
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